Labour Market Tightness

Understanding the application of labour market tightness analysis, especially in rural Canada.

Labour Market Tightness

The concept of labour market tightness applies to all economic sectors in Canada but is particularly important to food and beverage manufacturers understanding the balance between the demand for labour and the supply of labour. This type of analysis is especially helpful in sector-based, regional labour market research and has been used most recently in the meat and seafood labour market assessments conducted by Food Processing Skills Canada. The rating of labour market tightness is a system of levels from 1 through 3. A labour market tightness rating of 1 refers to a regional labour market that meets employment demands, and a rating of 3 refers to a regional labour force that does not meet the employment demands. A ranking of 2 falls in between, with only some demands being met.

  • In 2019, the regional labour force of Cornerbrook Newfoundland met the seafood processing employment demand, making its ranking a 1.
  • In 2019, the regional labour force of Clare Nova Scotia did not meet the seafood processing employment demand, making its ranking a 3.
  • In 2018, the meat processing employment demand in Hamilton Ontario was less than 50% of the regional labour force at the annual average employment levels, making its ranking a 1.
  • In 2018, meat processing employment demand in Brandon Manitoba was greater than 100% of the regional labour force at the annual average employment level, making its ranking a 3.

Securing Canada’s Meat Workforces Final Report, Food Processing Skills Canada 2019

Securing Canada’s Fish + Seafood Workforce Final Report, Food Processing Skills Canada 2019

Research can evaluate the level of tightness in a region by considering factors such as availability and concentration of labour potential. Factors such as regional competition, salary levels, educational requirements and travel distances are important variables to calculating the likelihood a manufacturing business will have in attracting and retaining employees. The calculation of labour market tightness also assists employers with Labour Market Impact Assessments when looking to secure temporary foreign workers.