Data Shows IT and Restaurant Jobs Were in High Demand Throughout Pandemic

Despite the significant toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on Canada’s economy and job market, certain jobs remained in high demand in 2020, particularly for new immigrants. This is according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (‘IRCC’).

IRCC recently revealed a list of the top ten jobs available to new immigrants in Canada throughout the pandemic. The list is as follows:

  1. Software engineers and designers
  2. Food service supervisors
  3. Information systems analysts and consultants
  4. Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  5. Administrative assistants (excluding legal or medical administrative assistants)
  6. Financial auditors and accountants
  7. Cooks
  8. Restaurant and food service managers
  9. Advertising, marketing, and public relations professionals
  10. University professors and lecturers

This list demonstrates that newcomers with experience working in information technology have an advantage when it comes to obtaining permanent residence.

According to, IT jobs such as software engineers and designers, information systems analysts and consultants, and computer programmers and interactive media developers were among the top jobs for immigrants in 2019, as well.

This is interesting to see because many businesses were forced to shut down during COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, except for essential services, such as food production and manufacturing, retail sales, and healthcare. Therefore, it would be expected that jobs deemed “essential” would continue to be in high demand during the pandemic, while restaurant, education, and office jobs would have lower demand.

Wage Gap is also Narrowing

Despite the fact that immigrants are in high demand to fill labour shortages, recent data from Statistics Canada shows that newcomers still earn lower incomes than other Canadians. However, the wage gap between new immigrants and Canadian citizens has become much narrower over the last several years.

According to the Statistics Canada data, the median entry wage for new immigrants in 2018 was $30,100. This is higher than the median income for new immigrants in 2017, which was $26,500.

However, for all other Canadians, the median wage was $37,400 in 2018, which was 24.2 per cent higher than the median wage for immigrants that year.

This wage gap is determined by socioeconomic factors such as high language proficiency in English or French, and work experience, among other factors.