This article charts the future transformations of the Canadian labor force population using a microsimulation projection model. The model takes into account differentials in demographic behavior and labor force participation of individuals according to their ethnocultural and educational characteristics. Results of the microsimulation show that Canada's labor force population will continue to increase, but at a slower rate than in the recent past. By 2031, almost one third of the country's total labor force could be foreign-born, and almost all its future increase is expected to be fueled by university graduates, while the less-educated labor force is projected to decline. All projection scenarios show that Canada’s overall participation rate will decline due to the retirement of the Boomers and the slow growth of the workforce. The analyses suggest that the most pertinent driver to be addressed is the differential in the labor force participation rates of the Canadian-born white population and immigrants and visible minorities.

Bibliographic Notes

This research brief was prepared by Samuel Vézina, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).