Immigration combined with efforts to improve the participation of under-represented groups in Canada’s labour force is “the best path” for ensuring the country’s economic growth and high living standards over the next 20 years, says a new Conference Board of Canada study.
Titled Can’t Go It Alone: Immigration is Key to Canada’s Growth Strategy, the study considers a variety of labour force scenarios over the years 2018 to 2040 before arriving at its conclusion.
This 22-year period will see all 9.2 million Canadian baby boomers reach retirement age and demand for Canada’s publicly funded social services reach new heights.
“Nearly one-quarter of the population will be 65 or older in 2040 — compared to 17 per cent today — which means that in the absence of labour force growth solutions, Canada would face even greater pressure to fund the health care that its citizens increasingly rely on in their senior years,” the study says.
While the 11.8 million students leaving Canadian schools between 2018 and 2040 will provide the bulk of the country’s workers and tax base, they will not be enough to make up for the 13.4 million workers who are forecasted to leave the labour force during this period.