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Adaptive Integration into the Canadian Labour Market: The Case of Entrepreneur and Skilled Worker Immigrants



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The literature review on immigrant’s self-employment activities has limited the debate around the leading factors to this type of activity. Much research on the subject has tried to answer the question ‘what are the determinant characteristics to become self-employed?’ In addressing that question researchers have focused on the relative value of the block mobility thesis and the ethnic enclave theory. This focus created a research gap; researchers have ignored how self-employment may be used by immigrants as an alternative or complementary strategy for accessing a new labour market. Using the Longitudinal Immigration Database, this research explores, using survival regression analysis, the extent to which immigrants adopt different labour market strategies following their admission to Canada. More specifically, it examines their rate of access to labour market activities, the length of time they stay in specific type of labour market activities and the determinant factors for such events. The findings of this research demonstrate that 27 per cent of the economic immigrants, who were admitted to Canada between 1990 and 2008, are likely to rely on paid and self-employment activities simultaneously over time. This finding reinforces the need to analyse self-employment activity as a concurrent activity to paid employment. The regression analysis results on the concurrent activities imply that immigrants admitted under the self-employed category are more inclined, than the other economic immigrants, to rely on the two types of activities when integrating into the Canadian labour market. The findings of this thesis indicated that the traditional theories on self-employment activities are inadequate to explain concurrent self-employment activities and paid employment activities. There is a need to develop contemporary theories around this new concept of concurrent labour market activities that would take into consideration self-employment and employment theories as well as immigrants’ adaptive integration capacity.



Immigrant's Self-Employment, Labour Market Integration Strategies, Survival Analysis



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)






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