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Vacancies Remain In Food Processing Industry

The agriculture sector is hiring far fewer people than at this time last year.
 
The biggest problem is food processing, with estimates that almost 28,000 jobs in the sector remain vacant in Canada.
 
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is a food professor at Dalhousie University.
 
"With fewer people processing food, we may see inventories for a lot of products getting low," he said. "Going into the fall, this is quite problematic. Of course, you can import products, but if our own manufacturing plants are struggling to get people in, there will be less food to sold at retail. That's going to be a challenge."
 
Charlebois says Canada will not experience a food shortage any time soon, but the processing sector needs help, and fast.
 
He notes the average hourly wage in the area is currently about $21 to $23, well above the minimum wage across the country. Working conditions, however, are not ideal.
 
Charlebois adds that the new enhanced employment insurance program is also creating challenges for attracting workers.
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