Making Canada Tech Again

President Trump may be able to provide Canadians with more than just relief of not being under his leadership.

In the months since his election, Donald Trump has become somewhat of sensation to international onlookers, though has developed a less amusing perspective on those living in the U.S. Since his inauguration in January, American citizens have expressed their desire for escape in various attempts: the day after Super Tuesday, “Move to Canada” became one of the highest searched phrases in Google history; whereas Canada’s immigration and citizenship website crashed due to increased traffic views.

While this rise in immigration undoubtedly affects the Canadian population — positlvey or negatively — it’s also impacting the companies based in the country as well. In an article for Business Insider, one American citizen said she considered quitting her job in New York City in order to relocate to a Toronto office because “she desperately wanted to get her and her children out of the country.”

“Trump’s election has caused hate within multiple minorities, and causing some backlash against American society,” says Matthew Gamble, a senior strategist at OMD. “Those who are working in the U.S. want to get away from him, and with the Canadian tech industry at one of its highs, there isn’t a better place for them to relocate.”

This past summer, Hired — an online platform that recruits upcoming tech talent — conducted a survey on whether or not their American employees would relocate following Trump’s election. The survey found that 40 per cent of those employees preferred to move outside of the U.S., 32 per cent of that number preferring the country to be Canada.

“U.S. job candidates are increasingly interested in working for companies based in Canada,” says Emily McClellan, an assistant account executive at InkHouse Media. “When you look at year over year data, the trend continues, and there is a notable jump in interest between [quarter four] 2015 and [quarter four] 2016, when President Trump won the election.”

Since the beginning of 2016, Canadian company Figure 1 saw its U.S.-based applications double, while other Canadian businesses noticed similar developments within their employment.

This immigration boost, however, has come in good timing. In 2016, The Huffington Post conducted a study of Canada’s approaching tech talent shortage. The country will create 218,000 tech jobs by 2020, but will not graduate enough students to fill them. Canada currently graduates 29,000 tech students per year, short of the 43,000 needed to fill upcoming jobs.

“If this interest in Canadian tech jobs continues to increase, then so will the positions available,” says Gamble. “It’s a natural result for any country that has experienced a major change in government.”