Basically, the authors show that many skilled immigrants are not able to secure high-paying jobs before their arrival. They saw that once skilled workers entered low income, they only had a slightly higher chance of exiting it than high school educated immigrants, but their relative advantage of exiting low income increased marginally over the period observed.
For the purposes of this report, "chronic" low income was defined as being in low income at least four of the first five years in Canada. The report found that nearly one in five (18.5%) of recent immigrants who arrived between 1992 and 2000 were in low income at least four years during their first five years in Canada. This was more than twice the corresponding rate of around 8% among Canadian-born people.
For the group that arrived in 1993, the five-year chronic low-income rate was 20.5%. For those who arrived in 2000, it had declined to 16.2% as the economy improved.
There were two possible reasons for the decline: the more favorable labour market-related characteristics of immigrants entering in the late 1990s, and improving economic conditions (business cycle). The report found immigrant characteristics accounted for virtually none of the improvement; improving economic conditions accounted for the majority.
Overall, the large rise in educational attainment of entering immigrants and the shift to the skilled class immigrant had only a very small effect on poverty outcomes as measured by the probability of entry, exit and chronic rates.
This is because by the early 2000s, skilled class entering immigrants were actually more likely to enter low income and be in chronic low income than their family class counterparts.
In addition, the small advantage that the university educated entering immigrants had over, say, the high school educated in the early 1990s had largely disappeared by 2000, as the number of highly educated immigrants rose.
Changes in entering immigrant characteristics did alter the composition of the immigrants in chronic low income.
Among those who arrived in 2000, 52% of those in chronic low income were skilled economic immigrants. About 41% had university degrees, up from 13% in the 1993 cohort.
… With respect to immigrant class, immigrants in the skilled economic class were more likely to enter low income than their family class counterparts, possibly because the family class immigrants often entered an already economically established family. This relative disadvantage observed for the skilled class increased significantly over the 1992 to 2004 period, when the number of skilled class immigrants rose. However, this should not necessarily be interpreted as meaning that individuals in the economic class do worse in the labour market (i.e., in term of individual earnings) than their family class counterparts. The opposite has historically been the case.