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Positive effect of pandemic on Canada immigration

A Canadian government study highlights some occupations that have increased in demand in Manitoba because of the pandemic.

Granted, many jobs were negatively impacted because of Manitoba’s public health measures. For example, many jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors were lost because of pandemic-related shutdowns. However, for other sectors, demand increased.

The following are nine of the jobs that increased in demand. The jobs are listed with their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code.

  1. Graphic designers and illustrators (NOC 5241)

Graphic designers and illustrators conceptualize and produce graphic art and visual materials to communicate information for packaging, publications, advertising, films and other media.

Employment for graphic designers and illustrators was 114 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Although advertising was reduced after retailers reduced their ad spends and live events were cancelled, graphic designers and illustrators saw their work shift towards online shopping platforms as more and more retailers moved online.

  1. Cleaning supervisors (NOC 6315)

Cleaning supervisors are responsible for supervising and coordinating the work of specialized cleaners, janitors, caretakers and superintendents.

Many are employed in hospitals, health care institutions, hotels, schools and other companies.

Employment for cleaning supervisors was 68 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Enhanced cleaning procedures became a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, so this dramatic increase may come as no surprise.

  1. Delivery and courier service drivers (NOC 7514)

These professionals drive cars, vans and light trucks to pick up and deliver products. They are usually employed by drug stores, newspaper distributors, restaurants, dry cleaners and various other businesses. Many are also self-employed.

Average employment levels trended higher year-over-year in 2020. This occupation increased in demand due to the significant increase in retail e-commerce.

  1. Computer network technicians (NOC 2281)

Computer network technicians establish, operate, maintain and co-ordinate the use of local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs), as well as hardware, software and other computer equipment.

Many of these professionals are employed in information technology units.

Employment for this job was 75 per cent higher in April 2020 and compared to April 2019. It is likely that this job will stay in high demand as more businesses embrace remote work.

  1. Insurance agents and brokers (NOC 6231)

Insurance agents and brokers sell various types of insurance including life, automobile, property and health insurance.

Insurance companies may receive increased claims because of uncertainty caused by the pandemic for travel and business. This increase in insurance claims is likely to increase demand for this job.

  1. Shippers and receivers (NOC 1521)

These professionals ship, receive and record the movement of parts, supplies, materials and other items to and from an establishment.

Employment for this job was 27 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

This job has increased in demand since retail e-commerce increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Material handlers (NOC 7452)

Material handlers handle, move, load and unload materials. These professionals are typically employed by transportation, storage and moving companies.

Average employment levels for this occupation trended higher year-over-year in 2020.

The pandemic caused retail e-commerce to increase, and as a consequence, demand for this occupation increased as the demand for parcel delivery increased.

In addition, Amazon is planning to open a new delivery centre in Winnipeg in 2021, which will further increase demand for this occupation.

  1. Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations (NOC 4412)

Home support workers provide personal care for seniors, people with disabilities and other clients. These workers may reside with the client. Housekeepers are responsible for housekeeping and home management duties, potentially in a private home.

Employment for these occupations was 87 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Demand for these occupations may continue to increase as older people and other uncompromising persons choose to stay in their homes rather than move to a care giving facility where they could be vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.

  1. Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers (NOC 6622)

These professionals pack customers’ purchases, price items, stock shelves with products and fill mail and telephone orders. Many are employed in retail businesses, grocery stores, department stores and warehouses.

Average employment levels for this job trended higher year-over-year in 2020.

Consumer spending habits shifted online during the pandemic. This created an increase in demand of this occupation, and many grocery chains hired additional shelf stockers and order fillers.


Canada’s provinces and territories attract immigrants to address labour market needs. This is to support Canada’s economic growth.There are various pathways to permanent residence if you have work experience in an in-demand job in a particular province.

In addition, you may use your skilled work experience as part of a permanent residence application through an economic class immigration program. This includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Canada uses the Express Entry system to manage applications for these programs.

However, it is important to note that Express Entry is strictly for skilled work. Check your occupation’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code. Your occupation is skilled if your NOC code is skill type 0, level A or level B.

Only the following occupations of the list above would be considered skilled:

  • Graphic designers and illustrators;
  • Cleaning supervisors;
  • Computer network technicians; and
  • Insurance agents and brokers.

Having an Express Entry profile can help you immigrate to Manitoba through the Manitoba Express Entry Pathway.

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