Job prospects General Farm Worker in Ontario
Job opportunities for General farm workers (NOC 8431) are good in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as a general farm worker.
Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.
Job opportunities in Ontario
The employment outlook will be good for General farm workers (NOC 8431) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.
The following factors contributed to this outlook:
- Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions.
- Not many positions will become available due to retirements.
- There are a moderate number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.
- Due to the seasonal nature of this occupation, employment opportunities tend to be more favourable during the summer months.
Farms throughout the province employ most of these workers with the highest number in southern Ontario. In some parts of the province, there are also opportunities in other industries such as food manufacturing, horse track racing, and the wholesale and distribution of farm products.
Ontario has the greatest number of farms in the country with just over 25.0% of all Canadian farms. The province is a key contributor to national crop production and livestock products. This creates an ongoing demand for these workers, especially in peak farming periods, as crops have to be processed within a short time to avoid losses. There are about 49,600 crop and livestock farms in the province, with an increasing share dedicated to crop farming. More than one-half of all farms in Ontario specialize in oilseed and grain farming, cattle ranching and farming, or other crop production.
There has been a growing trend of farms consolidating to form fewer but larger operations over the last several years. Farming operations have also become more mechanical and complex through greater use of machinery and business practices. Despite fewer farms and increased mechanization, employment opportunities in this field will remain steady as the seasonal and physical nature of this job leads to a higher rate of turnover.
This occupation often faces a lack of available local workers. Although this occupation does not require much experience or formal education, it sees a lower number of new entrants for a variety of reasons. General farm workers normally have to work long hours, handle various weather conditions, and possibly work in rural and remote locations. To help employers fill this gap, a large number of temporary foreign workers support the labour supply of this occupation. Over the past few years, general farm workers have been one of the largest occupational groups for temporary foreign workers in Ontario.
As farms continue to modernize, some of these workers may be required to use various types of farming machinery such as mechanical seeders and sprayers, and feeding and milking systems, and follow guidelines to help prevent or reduce livestock diseases. In addition, general farm workers that use Class 2 or 3 pesticides must participate in a Grower Pesticide Safety Course or an approved on-farm training session.
Here are some key facts about General farm workers in the Ontario region:
- Approximately 20,350 people work in this occupation.
- General farm workers mainly work in the following sectors:
- Agriculture (NAICS 111, 112, 1151, 1152): 88%
- The distribution of full-time and part-time workers in this occupation is:
- Full-time workers: 69% compared to 79% for all occupations
- Part-time workers: 31% compared to 21% for all occupations
- 58% of general farm workers work all year, while 42% work only part of the year, compared to 63% and 37% respectively among all occupations. Those who worked only part of the year did so for an average of 25 weeks compared to 31 weeks for all occupations.
- 21% of general farm workers are self-employed compared to an average of 12% for all occupations.
Breakdown by region
Explore job prospects in Ontario by economic region.
|Hamilton–Niagara Peninsula Region||Good Good|
|Kingston–Pembroke Region||Good Good|
|Kitchener–Waterloo–Barrie Region||Good Good|
|London Region||Good Good|
|Muskoka–Kawarthas Region||Good Good|
|Northeast Region||Fair Fair|
|Northwest Region||Fair Fair|
|Ottawa Region||Good Good|
|Stratford–Bruce Peninsula Region||Good Good|
|Toronto Region||Good Good|
|Windsor-Sarnia Region||Good Good|
You can also look at this data on a map. Go to LMI Explore
Job prospects elsewhere in Canada
We expect that the labour supply and demand for General farm workers (NOC 8431) will be balanced in Canada over the next 10 years.
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