P.E.I. has one of the worst records in the country for retaining immigrants from the provincial nominee program, says a report from Canada Immigration.
Just 37 per cent of PNP immigrants who arrived on P.E.I. before 2008 were still living on the Island at the end of that year. Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province with a worse record: 23 per cent. Retention rates in Alberta and British Columbia were over 95 per cent.
The retention issue for PNP immigrants was particularly problematic for P.E.I., which relied on the program for 95 per cent of its immigrants. Nationally immigrants arrived through a broad range of programs, with PNP making up just 17 per cent of immigrants.
The report concludes employment may be a factor in immigrant retention.
Just over half of P.E.I.'s nominees were earning a wage in their first year on the Island, and those who were earning were averaging just over $20,000 a year.
In Alberta and British Columbia, more than 80 per cent of PNP immigrants had been employed in Canada on work permits before being accepted to the provincial nominee program. On P.E.I., that number started at a high of 10 per cent in 2005 and had fallen to five per cent by 2009.