The vacancy crisis in Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry is costing the industry $3.1 billion annually in lost revenue.
Hiring requirements for the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry consider both industry growth and the need to replace workers who have retired or died. Replacement demand (retirements and deaths) will be the driving component for hiring over the 2023 to 2030 period with a total demand of 66,800 new workers to replace the industry’s aging workforce. These demands are accelerated toward the end of the decade as the share of workers nearing retirement age increases.
Accounting for both industry growth and the aging workforce, it is estimated that the industry will need to hire 92,500 workers over the 2023 to 2030 period. This is equivalent to approximately 31% of the 2022 workforce. When including the current labour vacancies of 50,000 workers, the hiring demand rises to 142,000 new people by 2030 or approximately 50% of today’s workforce.
What is Canada’s population growth?
- Canada’s is currently experiencing a decline in natural population growth (births minus deaths). Natural growth is anticipated to continue to decline in the coming years.
- Immigration will be the main driver of population growth over the next decade.
- Canada’s immigration target has increased from 300 thousand in 2016 to 500 thousand by 2025.
- Based on these targets its assumed:
– Canada’s population will exceed 42.1 million by 2030 (10% increase from 2021)
– Strongest growth expected in PEI (17%) and BC (15%)
The COVID-19 global pandemic has been difficult for businesses with many layoffs andclosures across the country since 2020. That said, the 2020 employment level for food andbeverage processors was at 98% of the 2019 level. For comparison purposes, manufacturing without food and beverage processing was at 91% of its 2019level and the Canadian economy as a whole at 92% of 2019 employment level.
Food and beverage processing has outperformed manufacturing and theeconomy, in addition to this, wages have risen across the food sector by $2.65/hour from 2019. Being designated as essential workers and providing stable employment in aturbulent time has helped the industry retain people, but now the industry is experiencing new challenges as the rest of the economy opens up. Increased competition for workers and changes to workplace norms such as the transition to remote work has increased the difficulties for employers in recruiting and retaining people.
Impact of COVID-19 on employment
Impact of public perceptions
Public perceptions of working in the sector has a significant impact on the labour market. To understand this better, FPSC conducted a survey in 2018 to gather insights into the perceptions, interests and motivationsof key target audiences: youth, Indigenous People, New Canadians and those with a tenuous connection to the workforce (currently unemployed and/or frequently unemployed). Members of the general public were also surveyed to provide a benchmark.
L’industrie canadienne de la fabrication de produits alimentaires et de boissons aura besoin de 142 000 nouvelles personnes entre 2023 et 2030, soit près de 50 % de la main-d’œuvre actuelle.
The Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry will need 142,000 new people between 2023 and 2030 or almost 50% of the current workforce.