Labour Productivity Challenges in Ontario’s Agri-Food Industry

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council has some resources and insights about labour productivity challenges in Ontario’s agri-food industry.

Some of the challenges include:

  • Over 45% of surveyed Ontario agricultural employers said they could not hire all the workers they needed
  • The labour gap in Ontario grew by over 10,000 people from 2007 to 2017
  • The survey of Ontario employers also found that reported over 80% experienced excessive owner stress, over 60% experienced production delays, nearly 60% lost sales, and over 40% delayed the expansion of their business.

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council developed a new Labour Market Information Framework to help address these problems. It was developed through a review of existing sources of labour market information, the identification of gaps in the knowledge about the labour market, and the development of a framework of common terminology and best practices that can be applied universally to primary agriculture and food processing as well as different sub-sectors and regions.  

The framework can be used by government, association policy advisors, and labour economists who want to understand and forecast the sector’s labour needs more accurately. It can be used to clarify existing labour market information and generate new data that is consistent, standardized, and supportive of a more comprehensive understanding of the labour market and the activities involved in the sector.  

By bringing greater consistency to the way the labour market is defined, the framework will provide greater clarity to job seekers and food processing employers who need to understand where the jobs are and what skills are needed to work in the sector

To learn more about the Ontario agri-food labour market, check out CAHRC’s Labour Market Information (LMI) Framework and also AgriLMI’s Agriculture Labour Market Forecasts.

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