Ag Workforce Management Amid COVID-19


The COVID-19 situation changed our daily lives. continues to keep a pulse on the agricultural industry’s employment situation. To identify key trends overtime during the pandemic, conducted surveys of agricultural employers and employees/job seekers.


Results from our online polls show that most agricultural employers have not taken action to manage employment numbers, but for those that have acted, furloughs (reduction of hours/days without pay) and reallocating staff to other departments were the most frequent actions. Positively, the majority of employers did not feel that they would need to implement employee management strategies at all during the pandemic.

The majority of employers are still continuing recruitment and hiring efforts despite COVID-19,

with increasing numbers indicating so from April to May. Nearly 60% of employers were proceeding as planned with internships. If there was an alteration, the most common was reducing the total number of interns/summer students.

Organizations have also begun working on a workforce re-entry plan – actions the business will take once the pandemic restrictions have been lifted and workers can return to business as usual. More than half (61%) said they have a plan or are working on a re-entry plan. The most common method employers are planning is a phased approach to return remote staff to the facility. The phased approach uses shifts/days/hours or limits the number of employees on-site at any time.

Employees / Job Seekers

More than 60% of employees said COVID-19 hasn’t impacted their employment status. If there was a change, the most common was a reduction in work hours or a reduction in pay. Employees are concerned about their employer and their employment. Mental health is a continued concern with the stress of the pandemic; nearly 60% of employees said the pandemic had a negative influence on their mental health. Half of the employee respondents said their employer recognized this influence and provided communication, education, or support regarding mental health.

We asked job seekers and employees how the pandemic changed their employment mindset. Since we started surveying in March, the percentage of job seekers exploring their options has increased to 66% in May.

For more information on’s research and helpful links to navigate employment during and after COVID-19, view the Canadian COVID-19 Resource Page

Written by Bonnie Johnson,

Bonnie Johnson is a professional marketing specialist. She supports the team and brand through her extensive marketing and communications experience.



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