AbstractsGeography &GIS

Geographies of Employment among Chinese High-Tech Immigrants in Canada: An Ottawa-Gatineau case study

by Jing Feng

Institution: University of Ottawa
Year: 2016
Keywords: geographies of employment; Chinese immigrants; high-tech employment; labour market outcomes; residential location; neighbourhood-level social characteristics; gender
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2126046
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34983


For a number of years, Canadian immigration selection policy has deliberately emphasized the human capital characteristics of applicants in determining admissibility for permanent residence. Largely due to these measures, Chinese immigrants today are overwhelmingly well-educated and skilled. This thesis examines the role of geography in shaping Chinese newcomers’ post-arrival employment status, with an emphasis on working in the high-tech sector. Given that Ottawa is a leading node of high-tech employment in Canada, this project initially investigates the probability that Chinese newcomers will work in the high-tech sector in Ottawa-Gatineau relative to other cities. The project subsequently examines the degree to which employment in the high-tech sector in Ottawa-Gatineau is related to ethnic, social and demographic characteristics of local spaces where people live and work. All aspects of the study adopt a gender lens with respect to interpreting employment status. The study finds that Chinese immigrants in Ottawa-Gatineau are more likely to work in this sector than their counterparts in Vancouver and Toronto. They are also more likely to work in high-tech relative to individuals in other immigrant groups or the Canadian-born population. With respect to co-ethnic residential and work spatial configurations, as well as social and demographic characteristics of residential neighbourhoods, the study finds that these factors exert quite different influences on the likelihood that Chinese women and men will work in Ottawa-Gatineau’s high-tech sector. The results are quite distinctly different for women and men, and underline the importance of a gendered analysis of relationships between geographic location/place and employment status.