Tracking Precarity: Employment Pathways of Precarious Status Migrant Workers in Canada


  • Jason Foster Athabasca University


irregular migrant workers, precarious employment, informal workers, Canada, informal networks


In recent years the issue of migrant workers with precarious status has increased in importance in Canada, in large part due to economic and policy changes that have led to greater numbers of migrant workers remaining in the country post permit expiry. This study tracks the employment experiences of low-skilled migrant workers who arrived through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and who remained following their permit expiry. Using a temporal analysis, the study identifies four timepoints that shape the workers’ employment outcomes both pre- and post-expiry. Events at these timepoints create differing employment pathways that, in turn, reveal different aspects of the workers’ precarity.  In addition to pathways, workers’ ability to access informal support networks shape their employment outcomes as workers with precarious status.