On one side of the border, 14 million Americans are out of work – the equivalent of more than 40 per cent of Canada’s population. On the other side, some employers – particularly in Alberta’s oil sector – say they can’t find enough skilled workers, prompting the country’s federal immigration minister to publicly muse last month on how to admit more skilled Americans.

The U.S. jobless rate is 9.1 per cent while Canada’s comparable rate – adjusted to U.S. concepts – is just 6.3 per cent, statistics released last week show.

“It’s reverse brain drain,” says Toronto-based immigration lawyer Sergio Karas. “There are a lot of disgruntled people who say ‘America is letting me down.’”

Not coincidentally

When it comes to economic freedom, Canada has now edged ahead of the land of the free, according to a report released by the Fraser Institute on Tuesday.

Canada bumped the United States out of sixth place on the annual Economic Freedom of the World survey with a score of 7.81 out of 10, up one ranking from the year before.