Job prospects Fish Plant Worker in Canada
People working as a fish plant 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 Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 9463).
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||Fair Fair|
|British Columbia||Fair Fair|
|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.
SHORTAGE: This occupational group is expected to face labour shortage conditions over the period of 2019-2028 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 declined steadily, standing near historical lows. The unemployment rate has been trending down, but remained volatile, standing at 35.0% in 2018, much higher than 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 below the national average). The number of job vacancies increased somewhat and the number unemployed available to fill those vacant positions fell slightly. Difficulties to attract domestic workers due to the seasonal nature of the work, its rural location, the fact that this occupation is concentrated in coastal provinces (Atlantic Provinces and British-Columbia), low wages and long hours have resulted in greater utilization of foreign temporary workers in seafood plants during the peak months of activity. Nevertheless, 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 Fish and seafood plant workers, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 1,900 , while 200 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.
Although this occupational group has had a balanced market in recent years, projected job seekers are expected to be insufficient to fill the projected job openings, creating a shortage of workers over the 2019-2028 period. Retirements will almost be the sole source of job openings in this occupation. The retirement rate is expected to be higher than the average for all occupations, and one of the highest among all occupations, because workers in this occupational group are significantly older than average and they retire at a slightly earlier age. Employment growth will be quite weak, but it will represent an improvement compared to the employment losses recorded over the previous decade. With foreign demand accounting for a significant share of fish and seafood sales, production will be supported by solid demand from the United States and the growing middle class in China and other Asian countries. Canada's free trade agreements with the European Union and the ten countries in the Asia-Pacific region are good news for the industry that employs these workers, as all tariffs imposed on Canadian fish and seafood products will be removed in these markets over the next fifteen years. On the other hand, growth in most fisheries will continue to be constrained by supply challenges. According to statistics released by the federal government for the period 2011-2017, only one-third of the major stocks in Canada was above their biological production capacity and there has not been any significant improvement suggesting a reversal in this trend. Stricter quotas imposed on different species stemming from limited fish stocks and environmental concerns are expected to erase a significant part of the gains resulting from seafood exports, restricting employment growth among these workers. With regard to labour supply, job seekers will come from both the school system and immigration. Occupational mobility will remain highly negative over the projection period, which means that many workers will leave for other occupations. As this is a highly seasonal occupation, labour market pressures are expected to arise during the summer months. The seasonal nature of the work, its rural location, the fact that this occupation is concentrated in coastal provinces (Atlantic Provinces and British-Columbia), low wages and long hours will continue being impediments to attract domestic workers. As a result, employers will continue relying on the utilization of temporary foreign workers, especially during the peak months of activity.
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