Employment in Alberta's agri-food industries in 2018

  From the February 19, 2019 Issue of Agri-News
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 More than 75,000 people were employed in Alberta’s agri-food industries last year. Jean Marie Uwizeyimana, agri-food statistician with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, breaks down the numbers and looks at some trends.

Uwizeyimana says that the 75,600 people employed in agri-food industries in 2018 was 0.7 per cent higher than in 2017.

“Employment in food and beverage manufacturing industry was significantly higher in 2018, increasing by 14.3 per cent to 26,200 people. Additionally, 2018 featured the highest year-over-year percentage growth among all industries. However, employment dropped 5.4 per cent to 49,300 in primary agriculture, following previous trends.”

“It is also important to highlight that food and beverage manufacturing remains Alberta’s largest manufacturing industry in terms of employment, accounting for 20.3 per cent of the provincial total manufacturing workforce in 2018,” he adds.

Uwizeyimana notes that there are many factors behind the declining numbers of workers employed in primary agriculture, including the adoption of new technologies and industry mechanization.

“In the early 1990s, more than 90,000 people worked in primary agriculture alone in Alberta. Today, that number is below 50,000 workers, but the industry is still doing well as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP). The GDP for agriculture in the province has more than doubled over the last decade, increasing from $2.5 billion in 1997 to $5.2 billion in 2017. The advancement of technology has enabled the agriculture industry to grow, be more productive, and less dependent on manual labour.”

Alberta’s agri-food industries employed 22,400 women in 2018. Says Uwizeyimana, “They accounted for roughly one third of agri-food employment, while nationally the proportion was 35.4 per cent.”

“Due to the nature of the work involved, food and beverage manufacturing industry usually has a higher proportion of women than the primary agriculture,” explains Uwizeyimana. “For instance, women accounted for 36.1 per cent of Alberta’s food and beverage manufacturing employment in 2018, while they occupied 26.2 per cent of employment in the primary agriculture industry.”

Find more information on the Statistics Canada’s website or contact Jean Marie Uwizeyimana at 780-422-3099.

Jean Marie Uwizeyimana

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Jean Marie Uwizeyimana.
This document is maintained by Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on February 15, 2019.