New information to show effects of labour shortage in Cdn. ag

New information to show effects of labour shortage in Cdn. ag
Nov 02, 2023

Ag lost almost $4 billion in sales because of a lack of workers

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An upcoming report will highlight the labour gaps in Canadian agriculture and how those shortages are affecting the sector.

The Canadian ag industry lost about $3.5 billion in sales in 2022 because the industry didn’t have enough workers, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) said on Nov. 1.

For context, CAHRC indicated the ag sector lost about $2.9 billion in sales in 2020 because of a labour shortage.

The Conference Board of Canada completed the research and analysis for the CAHRC.

The report’s findings include discovering agriculture has an “above-average vacancy rate of 7.4 per cent, with two in five employers saying they couldn’t find the workers they needed.”

The data also highlighted how Canada leans on out-of-country employees.

Canadian ag employed more than 420,000 workers in 2022 with nearly 25 per cent of them (or around 105,000) being foreign workers, CAHRC says.

Shedding light on the overall ag labour situation will help stakeholders identify ways to manage the issue, said Jennifer Wright, executive director of the CAHRC.

“We cannot solve the issues facing our sector if we do not know exactly what they are and where they exist. That is why this new data is so important,” she said in a statement. “The information tells us there is an urgent need to boost labour supply and empower domestic and foreign workers to secure the industry’s future viability.”

The CAHRC will release more detailed information in the coming weeks, which will include reports on occupations, skills gaps and recruitment strategies.

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