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Report: Canada gets refugees to work faster than anyone in the West

A unique program in which communities privately sponsor refugees arriving from the Middle East and elsewhere has resulted in Canada absorbing them into society — including jobs — faster than any country in the West, according to a comprehensive new report comparing 22 nations.

  • What sets Canada apart: Its flexible labor market, decentralized settlement services and welcoming culture, which combine to get refugees into jobs rapidly, according to the report by the Tent Foundation and the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN). "There's a perception in the world that taking on refugees can be a burden to a country ... [but] they really do make serious contributions to the economy," Tent's Gideon Maltz told Axios.

Other main findings: Getting to work in most of Europe takes much longer, due to a highly regulated labor market that leaves asylum-seekers "in limbo for years," the report's authors write. Switzerland is the exception. Look where the countries stack up:

Note: Some countries place further restrictions on asylum seekers' right to work; Data: OECD; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Canada and the U.S. have the least-restrictive regulations on temporary employment, compared to Norway and France, which are toughest on temporary jobs.

Bottom line: For every dollar or euro spent on welcoming refugees, economies receive nearly twice that in five years, Tent and OPEN reported last year.