What Employers Need To Know About Immigration in 2022

01 Nov 2021

There is an intense labour shortage in Canada right now; find out how this will affect your business in 2022.

Many employers are having difficulty hiring people right now.  COVID-19 has changed the way companies do business. The Bank of Canada figures say 125,000 people will retire in the second half of 2021 based on a more secure workforce coming out of the pandemic. Canada had also set a target of 401,000 immigrant workers in 2021 but in the first half had only brought in a little more than 144,000. What does that mean for you?

The state of labour in Canada as of the end of 2021

Restrictions are (mostly) lifted across Canada, causing more jobs to be available; however, there are fewer applicants than ever.  There are 50% more job postings from June 2020 to June 2021, with 30% fewer people considering a new job. Here are a few things to keep top of mind going into 2022.

  1. Company Growth 

COVID-19 has forced companies to be more agile, fluid, and tolerant of changes. While many companies suffered during COVID-19, the ones that were able to survive are now looking to grow as restrictions are lifted. Common industries that were able to survive (and are now looking to thrive) are in the following sectors:

  • Technology
  • E-Commerce

  • Home Delivery

  • Vehicle Sales

  • Manufacturing

In fact, due to the significant labour gaps, companies are starting to be more competitive in their recruitment efforts. This is leading to better benefits, higher wages, and generally better offers for candidates. 

  1. Hospitality Shortages 

Many people were laid off during the pandemic in the hospitality industry. As of August of 2021 there were 154,000 less people working in accommodation and food services than there was in February of 2020. This then increased to 180,000 less people in September of 2021. This number is not expected to rebound until immigration targets are met in late 2022.


  1. Agriculture Shortages 

Labour shortages in the agriculture sector are nothing new. There was a shortage of 63,000 workers as far back as 2018 and that number is expected to increase to 123,000 by 2029. There are a lot of different jobs that are considered to be under the umbrella of agriculture. The CAHRC has a great breakdown of all of them here. The good news is that the government wants to help and beyond ramping up the temporary foreign worker program they also instituted a program to pay wages for youth workers.

  1. Low Levels of Immigration in 2020-2021 

Immigration was nearly halted in 2020, as countries were looking to ‘protect’ their citizens from outside variants or any spreading of COVID-19. Canada typically welcomes north of 360,000 immigrants per year. In 2020, this number fell drastically to just under 200,000 individuals. Additionally, many middle-aged workers decided to retire early, taking their skills and experience out of the job market. This caused companies to be starved for international talent, missing out on the skills and volume of foreign workers that are historically used to fill Canada’s labour gaps. This has caused the gaps to widen significantly and be felt across the country. 

  1. CRB Ended and Replaced

The controversial Canada Recovery Benefit program ended on Oct. 23 of this year. It was replaced with a Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit that pays $300 a week to employees impacted by lockdowns. This program is only available until May 7, 2022 and is for workers affected by official, government-imposed restrictions.

Hiring Immigrant Employees in 2022

The hiring landscape has changed in Canada.  There is a job boom in a climate where workers are not yet re-engaged with the workforce.  This has created a massive demand for workers.  Many people are pushing away from working with government subsidies, work from home desires, health and safety concerns, and family complications factors.  This affects nearly every industry, specifically physical workplaces such as manufacturing facilities, plants, warehouses, offices, and restaurants. 

With CFIB’s recent information we can see that shortages for both skilled and unskilled labour are quite high. We returned to our pre-pandemic levels of employment in September but are now facing almost two years worth of shortages in immigration. RBC economics expects those immigration shortfalls to continue well into 2022 as our country attempts to work through the backlog. The best time to access the international labour market is today! As companies start to fill out their shortages through immigration the best employees will get taken first. Employers also have to plan for a minimum of 3 months to get an employee from initial LMIA application to working. The most forward thinking companies are preparing for spring of 2022 as of today. They are looking to trusted consultants to access new and existing programs so they are ahead of the curve moving forward.  

Immigrate can grant you access to the best the world has to offer.  We can find you talent from all over the world.  Our expert recruiters are in over 25 countries and will find you qualified candidates. Our expert immigration consultants will then bring the candidates to you.  Book an initial consultation with our experts today to see how we can help you fill all your labour needs for 2022 and beyond.