Job prospects General Farm Worker in Canada
People working as a general farm worker have different job prospects depending on where they work in Canada. Find out what the future holds for them in your province or territory. These prospects are applicable to all General farm workers (NOC 8431).
Note: These employment prospects were published in December 2021 based on the information available at the time of analysis. The next update will be in December 2022. To learn more, see our FAQs. You can also find additional information on the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard.
Job opportunities over the next 3 years
Explore future job prospects by province and territory.
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Fair Fair|
|Prince Edward Island||Good Good|
|Nova Scotia||Good Good|
|New Brunswick||Limited Limited|
|British Columbia||Limited Limited|
|Yukon Territory||Undetermined Undetermined|
|Northwest Territories||Undetermined Undetermined|
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Labour market conditions over the next 10 years
Take a closer look at the projected labour demand and supply for this occupation over the 2019-2028 period. For more information on future job trends, go to the Canadian Occupational Projections System.
BALANCE: Labour demand and labour supply are expected to be broadly in line for this occupation group over the 2019-2028 period at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.
Employment in 2018
Median age of workers in 2018
Average retirement age in 2018
In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2019-2028) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2019-2028. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.
Over the 2016-2018 period, employment in this occupational group increased at a healthy pace, about twice the rate of the average for all occupations. This led to a significant decline in the unemployment rate to 12.3% in 2018, a historical low, but remaining above the national average of 5.8% (note that the unemployment rate is affected by the seasonality of labour demand in this occupational group and that during the high season it usually declines to be substantially below the national average). The number of job vacancies increased significantly and the number unemployed available to fill those vacant positions fell at a very low level. Difficulties to attract domestic workers due to the seasonal nature of the work, its rural location, low wages and long hours have resulted in greater utilization of foreign temporary workers in agriculture, especially during the peak months of production. While the presence of temporary foreign workers during the high season may indicate shortage conditions during those specific months, on average on a yearly basis, the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group over the 2016-2018 period.
For General farm workers, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 15,200 , while 17,000 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.
Based on the analysis of recent labour market conditions and the projections, it is expected that the balance between labour supply and demand will continue over the 2019 2028 period. The outlook for the Canadian agriculture industry is generally favourable for the period 2019-2028, supported by rising global per capita income, freer trade with the European Union and Asia-Pacific economies, and federally backed initiatives aimed at boosting exports. That said, the outlook for the industry is subject to significant uncertainty stemming from a variety of sources, including escalating trade disputes and climate change. While food consumption grows at a fairly constant pace, agriculture prices are extremely volatile due to supply-side uncertainty (from unpredictable crop conditions and fluctuations in input prices) and demand-side uncertainty (from evolving trade relationships and exchange rate movements). An aging demography and stable food consumption are also restraining growth in domestic demand, although the legalization of cannabis across the country represents a positive development for production. Higher international market integration will continue to put pressure on Canadian farmers to be cost-effective through innovative technologies such as biometric sensors, self-learning milking machines and driverless tractors. As a result, employment in this occupations is projected to keep increasing over the 2019-2028 horizon, but at a slower pace than the previous ten years. Because of this modest expansion demand, a majority of job openings will come from retirements, despite the retirement rate being significantly below the average for all occupations. The low retirement rate is explained by the average young age of the workers in this occupational group, combined with the fact that these workers generally retire at an older age. With regard to labour supply, the majority of job seekers will come from the school system and, to a lesser extent, from immigration. Occupational mobility will remain highly negative over the projection period, which means that many workers will leave for other occupations. Many of these workers, who are looking for career advancement and higher wages, will become farm supervisors or managers. As this is a highly seasonal occupation, even if labour market conditions are projected to be balance, some labour market pressures are expected to arise during the summer months. Difficulties to attract domestic workers due to this seasonal nature, its rural location, relatively low wages and long hours have resulted in greater utilization of temporary foreign workers for this occupation during the peak working months. This situation is expected to persist over time.
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