American searches for jobs in Canada spike as US election nears

As the U.S. presidential election nears, job searchers in the U.S. are taking a look at employment options in Canada.
As the U.S. presidential election nears, job searchers in the U.S. are taking a look at employment options in Canada. The Canadian Press/File

While Americans are heading to the polls to choose between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, it seems they’re also turning to their computers to search for jobs in Canada.

The number of U.S. residents searching for jobs in Canada has gone up more than 50 per cent this year from last, one popular employment search engine has revealed, as the contentious U.S. presidential election nears.

READ MORE: Here’s how Americans looking to escape Trump can immigrate to Canada

In all of 2015 there were about 20,000 such queries on using the keyword “Canada,” while in the first 10 months of 2016, there were more than 30,000.

While there is no real way to know if American interest in Canadian employment is related to the U.S. presidential election, past behaviour suggests it could be linked.

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IN DEPTH: U.S. presidential election 2016

In February, when Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary Twitter was abuzz with moving plans.

During Super Tuesday, when both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had big wins, “Move to Canada” searches spiked on Google.

And a poll in March found that 19 per cent of Americans would consider moving to Canada if Trump wins.

History also shows that an election can spur people to make the move: Immigration to Canada doubled after George W. Bush’s 2004 win.

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READ MORE: How the loonie could react to a President Clinton or President Trump

Unfortunately, those on the hunt for a new Canadian job may have a tough time: The unemployment rate in Canada has hovered around 7 per cent in recent months, which in the U.S. it’s around 5 per cent.

Wages in Canada have stagnated over the last year; in the United States, household income surged in 2015 after years of stunted growth following the recession.

So where do job searchers want to go? Ontario was most searched, particularly Toronto, followed by Alberta and British Columbia. Quebec and New Brunswick rounded out the Top 5.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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