Approaching an era of labour shortage

The following is courtesy of Ray Bollman, senior research advisor to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) and former chief of the Rural Research Group at Statistics Canada. Here, Mr. Bollman reports on Canada’s projected labour market shortage.

Demographic pressure is building within Canada’s labour market. Projections call for fewer potential entrants into Canada’s labour market to replace those who could retire - and this may be the situation right up to 2025.

The following chart documents this potential labour market shortage by looking at two different scenarios about future population growth. It’s highly likely that we’ll find fewer than 100 potential labour market entrants per 100 potential labour market retirees.

Migration patterns and the decision of potential retirees to keep working will ultimately determine whether there’s a significant shortage of labour in any given region. The labour market may eventually return to a situation in which potential entrants roughly equals the potential exiters if these factors impact labour decisions favourably.

A future labour shortage could put downward pressure on economic growth in a number of sectors, including agriculture. We’ll look at the connection between the industry’s economic growth and hired farm labour in a subsequent post.

There are a number of ways producers can respond to the challenge of finding the right labour for operations across Canada. Find out more at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council.

Ray D. Bollman, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council