Should I Stay or Should I Go Home? Newcomer Employment Experiences in Mid-Sized Canadian Cities


  • Jasmine Thomas


labour market integration, labour market segmentation, critical race theory, intersectionality, transnational feminism


Despite changes to Canadian immigration policy to address declining labour market outcomes, many highly educated immigrants still face challenges when searching for career-related employment. Semi-structured interviews with 38 newcomer professionals in Edmonton, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba illustrate significant obstacles including a lack of credential recognition, racial discrimination and a requirement for Canadian experience. Drawing from intersectional feminism and critical race theory, this study assesses the perspectives of newcomers during their employment search and explores the common desire for return-migration. Findings illustrate how the pre-arrival expectations of immigrants are incongruent with the realities of persistent labour market barriers. Newcomers consider if they should stay in Canada due to the lack of meaningful economic opportunities.

Author Biography

Jasmine Thomas

Jasmine Thomas completed a PhD in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta with specialization in immigration, critical race theory and intersectional feminism. Their dissertation research focused on the interplay between the settlement services sector and the experiences of newcomer Canadians as they integrate into the professional labour markets of mid-sized Canadian cities (e.g. Winnipeg, MB and Edmonton, AB).