Data from a new report from the Canadian Council for Agricultural Human Resources (CAHRC) shows that farmers in the Canadian agricultural industry have lost $ 2.9 billion in sales due to unfilled vacancies. This is an increase of $ 1.5 billion since 2014.
The labor market forecast to 2029 also shows that 46% of producers who reported vacancies delayed or outright canceled the idea of expanding their operations, which in turn, many reported extreme stress for them- themselves and their workers. According to a press release, nearly 90 percent of producers whose jobs are unfilled identified stress and excessive hours due to the inability to find the workers they needed.
“Labor shortages in Canadian agriculture can only be addressed by taking decisive action,” says Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, CAHRC Executive Director. “By working together, we can find meaningful and creative solutions to increase the labor supply and improve the skills of the sector’s workforce for the continued success and growth of agriculture through Canada.
Key findings of the report include that the total number of job vacancies in agriculture increased from 26,400 to 16,500, largely due to the adoption of technology, and an increase in the number of international workers who work in jobs where no Canadians are found.
Vacancy rates in agriculture remain higher than in any other sector in the country, at 5.4 percent, down from 2014, when the rate was 7 percent. Currently, the national average is 2.9 percent.
To address the labor shortage, CAHRC has identified and developed agriculture-specific human resources (HR) tools designed to help modern farms manage their workforce. The organizations also offer agricultural skills training programs, online and in person through the Agri HR Toolkit, which is a guide to help businesses with HR needs involving a temporary foreign worker.
Over the next few weeks, a series of 22 reports containing labor market forecasts for each province and major agricultural commodity will be released.
Agriculture labor market research has been validated by industry consultations across Canada with 1,900 farm business owners, employees and farm organizations, according to a press release. stakeholders. Research on labor market forecasts was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.