Requests for temporary foreign workers soar in P.E.I., despite province’s high unemployment rate

Despite having one of Canada’s highest unemployment rates—and one of its highest rates of EI collection — P.E.I. has seen the number of businesses seeking temporary foreign workers spike over the last decade.

According to numbers obtained in a Freedom of Information request and published by Charlottetown’s The Guardian, last year P.E.I. employers were cleared to fill 1,350 positions with temporary foreign workers (TFWs).

Although the 1,350 number only indicates approved positions rather than the total number temporary foreign workers actually recruited, the rate is up sharply from only 850 TFW positions in 2011, 575 in 2008 and 220 in 2005.

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