Ontario is Canada’s largest agricultural employer and faces some of the country’s most critical labour challenges.
- In 2014, farmers in Ontario employed 103,000 people, or 27% of Canada’s agricultural workforce. It also employed half of the foreign agricultural workers in the country, making it the province most reliant on foreign labour. Foreign workers filled 23,700 jobs that would otherwise remain vacant due to domestic labour shortages, but the province still saw 8,600 jobs go unfilled. This shortfall cost the sector $436 million.
- In the future, demand for labour is expected to increase while the domestic supply shrinks. By 2025, as many as 46,600 jobs could be at risk of going unfilled due to the lack of domestic labour, which is the largest agricultural labour gap in Canada.
- To avoid further financial losses and reach its growth potential, Ontario must find ways of addressing these significant labour issues.
- For more information on Ontario’s agricultural production trends and labour market challenges, download the fact sheet or full provincial report.