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Hamilton’s recent immigrants have double the unemployment and poverty rates of non-immigrants, despite having more education. Youth unemployment is below the Ontario average and improved since last year, but remains twice the overall rate. The number of people who are moving to Hamilton is increasing as is the number of new business start-ups.

New Permanent Residents

In 2010, 4,003 permanent residents came to Hamilton. Although this represents an increase from last year’s 3,778, the overall trend is down from 2005 when 4,613 arrived. Hamilton received a lower proportion of economic class immigrants (40% of all immigrants) than provincial (51%) and national (61%) averages.[1] Thirty-eight percent of newcomers arriving in Hamilton of working age have at least one university degree, more than twice the rate for Canadian-born residents, but also have unemployment rates double that of non-immigrants.[2] As the chart below illustrates, recent immigrants in Hamilton have a poverty rate of over 50% – higher than any other Ontario city.

Graph_gettingstarted1

Youth Unemployment

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for youth in the Hamilton CMA during the first half of 2011 was 13.4%. This rate is lower than the provincial average (16.1%) and national average (14.4%). The average for the first half of 2011 is below the 2010 average of 14.6%.[3] The unemployment rate for Hamilton CMA youth is still more than double that of the general population.

New Business Startups

According to Hamilton’s Small Business Enterprise Centre, 580 small businesses were started in 2009. Based on the first quarter of 2011, some 800 will be launched this year.[4] There were 12 business bankruptcies reported in the first quarter of 2011 for the Hamilton CMA – the lowest quarterly total since 2006.[5] The number of business bankruptcies is down 37% from the same time last year. For current information on bankruptcies, visit the City of Hamilton’s Community Wellness Indicators.

Migration Rates

More people are getting started in Hamilton. In 2008 and 2009, Hamilton experienced a net gain of 1,811 people – an average of just over 900 people annually. This was higher than the average gain of 770 annually from 2002-2007. People migrating to Hamilton tend to be younger: 92% were under the age of 45, and only 2% were over 65 years old.[6]

Number of Students in School with Neither Official Language as Their First Language

There are a number of students in Hamilton schools with neither official language as their first language. The Hamilton-Wentworth Public School Board reports that, of the 46,359 students enrolled this year, 5,184 (or 11%) do not identify English or French as their first language.[7]


[1] Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2009: Immigration Overview – Permanent and Temporary Residents. Data provided by Wayland Consulting.
[2] Hamilton Community Foundation 2008. Diversity Scan.
[3] Statistics Canada. Labour Force Survey. Special request. Data provided by Community Foundations of Canada.
[4] City of Hamilton, Planning and Economic Development Department, Special Request.
[5] City of Hamilton, Community Wellness Indicators.
[6] Hamilton Training Advisory Board, Special Request.
[7] Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Special Request.