Canada welcomed more than 32,000 tech workers in past year
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Tech councils TECNA and CTN release new report on the migration of international tech talent
The Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) and Canada’s Tech Network (CTN) released “Tech Workforce Trends: The Migration of Tech Workers and Tech Jobs Since The Pandemic,” a new report exploring globalization and migration of tech occupations in Canada.
The findings highlight that between April 2022 and March 2023, 32,115 new workers came to Canada with the most migrating from India and Nigeria. This move is due largely in part to a more immigration-friendly national policy and a labor cost advantage. The report also highlighted the most attractive Canadian cities to top tech talent, with Mississauga, Ont., ranking first followed by Montreal, Que. and Waterloo, Ont.
Ontario boasts the largest number of tech workers within the country, but smaller provinces, like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, are experiencing the most rapid growth. Both reported the largest year-over-year growth in their respective tech workforces, at 16.3%. Windsor, Ontario has seen the highest growth in tech workers over the past year (28%), followed by Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Timmins, Ont. This shift is reflective of broader workforce trends, with largely remote tech workers moving away from major metropolitan areas toward more rural locations.
“Our goal at TECNA is to serve as the collective voice of the regional tech hubs and tech associations we represent to help build the North American technology economy. This report is an important step in supporting this growth and helping our Canadian members better understand the state of the current workforce ecosystem,” said Yvonne Pilon, Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors, TECNA, and President & CEO of Windsor-based WEtech Alliance. “Given the radical shortfall in tech workers to fill available jobs in recent years, it’s imperative we understand migration movements to better serve our members, the innovation workforce, and the broader technology ecosystem.”
*Migration findings from April 2022-March 2023
Canada’s Top Ranking Net Migration of Tech Workers by Country
India (15,097 tech workers)
Nigeria (1,808 tech workers)
Brazil (1,675 tech workers)
Ukraine (1,207 tech workers)
Philippines (1,129 tech workers)
Iran (1,046 tech workers)
France (935 tech workers)
UAE (744 tech workers)
Hong Kong SAR (715 tech workers)
Pakistan (588 tech workers)
Canada’s Largest In-Migration by City
Mississauga, Ontario (1,900 tech workers)
Montreal, Quebec (959 tech workers)
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (633 tech workers)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada (557 tech workers)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (525 tech workers)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (456 tech workers)
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada (437 tech workers)
London, Ontario, Canada (418 tech workers)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (363 tech workers)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada (331 tech workers)
Canada’s Tech Industry Workforce by Province and Territories, 1-Year Percent Growth
Newfoundland and Labrador (16.3%)
Nova Scotia (14.3%)
New Brunswick (12.9%)
British Columbia (12.3%)
Prince Edward Island (11.7%)
Northwest Territories (9.4%)
Ontario’s Top 10 Global Regions of Tech Worker Net Migration (Gained Talent – Lost Talent)
Karnataka, India (+797 net change)
Maharashtra, India (+688 net change)
Gujarat, India (+417 net change)
Telangana, India (+392 net change)
Tamil Nadu, India (+386 net change)
Ukraine (+353 net change)
Quebec, Canada (+309 net change)
Delhi, India (+290 net change)
Kerala, India (+246 net change)
Nigeria (+217 net change)
While Canada has lost talent to the U.S. overall, net loss is not significant at only 1,672 workers. Considering the population of the U.S. compared to Canada and the total tech workforce of each, this demonstrates Canada’s competitiveness to tech employment opportunities. Canada is gaining American talent from the Northeastern states, and still attracting talent from major U.S. cities like Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. The average compensation for U.S. tech occupations per the report is $175,600 CAD ($133,500 USD), while the average compensation for the same tech occupations in Canada is $100,400 CAD ($73,897 USD).
“We are thrilled with the recent announcement by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, as it paves the way for Canada to welcome workers with H1B visas into our tech ecosystem. This groundbreaking program is set to bring 10,000 highly skilled professionals to our country, fortifying our position as a leading destination for tech talent,” said Chris Albinson, CEO and President at Communitech. “In addition, the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, one of North America’s largest and fastest growing tech hubs, already attracts talented individuals on a daily basis, and this new initiative will propel our ecosystem to even greater heights. Equally important, the valuable data provided in this study grants Canadian teams crucial insights into tech talent migration, empowering them to make informed hiring decisions, and better serve the broader technology ecosystem.”
Canada’s tech ecosystem is on the fast track to immense growth according to a recent industry outlook report from BDC and combined with the findings in this data report, signify the country might be giving its southern counterpart a run for its money. The large migration of tech workers also fills the need for skilled workers amid an ongoing global talent shortage and points to a hopeful and prosperous future for Canada’s tech occupation workforce.
The report is based on data sourced by labor market data and includes data points from numerous sources collected, analyzed, and visualized by eIMPACT.
For purposes of this study, “tech talent / occupations / workers” is defined by a proxy custom group of NOC linked occupation skill codes including roles such as Software Developers, Network and Computer Systems Administrators, and Information Security Analysts. This group of tech workers is sometimes referred to as a tech occupation cluster and tech occupation profiles.