Job prospects Harvest Hand in Canada

People working as a harvest hand 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 outlooks are applicable to all Harvesting labourers (NOC 8611).

Note that the current 2019-2021 Employment Outlook was published in December 2019 based on information available at that time.

Job opportunities over the next 3 years

Explore future job prospects by province and territory.

Location Job prospects
Newfoundland and Labrador Undetermined Undetermined
Prince Edward Island Good Good
Nova Scotia Good Good
New Brunswick Fair Fair
Quebec Undetermined Undetermined
Ontario Good Good
Manitoba Fair Fair
Saskatchewan Undetermined Undetermined
Alberta Fair Fair
British Columbia Fair Fair
Yukon Territory Undetermined Undetermined
Northwest Territories Undetermined Undetermined
Nunavut Undetermined Undetermined
Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

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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.


BALANCE: Labour demand and labour supply are expected to be broadly in line for this occupation group over the 2019-2028 period 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


Detailed analysis

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 fell, reaching an all-time low in 2018. Despite the decline in employment, the unemployment rate also decreased significantly, but remained as one of the highest among all occupations at 30.8% in 2018, well above the national average of 5.8%. Even though these are highly seasonal occupations, the unemployment rate remain very high even during the peak season months. The number of job vacancies were relatively stable, while the number unemployed available to fill those vacant positions fell to a relatively low level, indicating an improvement in the labour market conditions. Overall, 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 Harvesting labourers; Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers & Logging and forestry labourers, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 2,400 , while 2,100 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

Based on the analysis of recent labour market conditions and the projections, it is expected that the balance between labour supply and demand will continue over the 2019 2028 period. This occupational group is expected to face job losses (negative expansion demand) over the projection period. Most of these workers are employed in the agriculture industry, which is expected to continue declining in terms of employment over the projection period. The outlook for the industry is subject to significant uncertainty stemming from a variety of sources, including escalating trade disputes and climate change. While food consumption grows at a fairly constant pace, agriculture prices are extremely volatile due to supply-side uncertainty (from unpredictable crop conditions and fluctuations in input prices) and demand-side uncertainty (from evolving trade relationships and exchange rate movements). An aging demography and stable food consumption are also restraining growth in domestic demand, although the legalization of cannabis across the country represents a positive development in terms of production. Higher international market integration will continue to put pressure on Canadian farmers to be cost-effective through innovative technologies such as biometric sensors, self-learning milking machines and driverless tractors. Given that the occupation is expected to continue to have job losses, all job openings will strictly arise from replacement demand. Despite having a retirement rate similar to the average, most of the job openings will come from retirements. Workers in this occupational group tend to be slightly younger, but to retire at an older age than workers in other occupations. With regard to labour supply, most job seekers will come from the school system over the projection period. In fact, the number of school leavers alone will almost double the projected number of job openings over the 2019-2028 period. Moreover, this occupational group is very popular among newcomers in the country and is expected to attract a higher share of immigrants than the average for all occupations, given the possible transition paths from being a temporary worker into a permanent resident. Since this occupational group does not require any specialized training, a large number of workers will enter while looking for employment in another occupation that better matches their career goals. As a result, many workers will leave this occupational group in the coming years seeking other employment opportunities. This will largely offset the number of job seekers, enough to balance the labour demand and supply in this occupational group. As this is a highly seasonal occupation, even if labour market conditions are projected to be balance, some labour market pressures are expected to arise during the summer months. Difficulties to attract domestic workers due to this seasonal nature, its rural location, relatively low wages and long hours have resulted in greater utilization of foreign temporary workers for this occupation during the peak working months. This situation is expected to persist over time.

Source Canadian Occupational Projections System – ESDC

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