2020 was challenging, but it provided areas of opportunity and growth, particularly for essential industries like agriculture. AgCareers.com annually reviews trends in jobs, candidates, and site activity in our Agribusiness Job Report. This review of trends helps us identify where we’re going and make our way forward.
It’s no surprise that the average unemployment rate experienced staggering increases in 2020. Though the general uneasiness of the markets, the essential nature of the global agricultural industry aids in its stability.
Candidates continue actively pursuing careers in agriculture and use AgCareers.com in the job search process. In 2020, nearly 3,000 Canadian candidates set-up new job seeker accounts, an increase of 70% from 2019.
The number of candidates’ job alerts increased by 70% (job seekers may subscribe for text and email alerts of new jobs meeting their search criteria) and there was also an increase in candidate resumes added to the database. When job seekers visit the site, they can search by a variety of methods, with keyword being the simplest. The top job search words in Canada were: 1) research; 2) agriculture; 3) summer; 4) territory manager; and 5) sales.
AgCareers.com has qualified job candidate traffic throughout Canada, however, looking at provinces individually, Ontario kept its spot in the top of applications. Applications from British Columbia saw the most growth, reflecting the increase in British Columbia jobs posted on the site.
Sixty-five percent of applicants had a bachelor’s degree or higher. The majority of North American applicants had an ag-based degree (59%), with Ag Business remaining the most common. Twelve percent of applicants were students and 55% were currently or most recently employed in ag occupations. Over one-third of applicants had 10-plus years of experience.
Despite the pandemic, Canadian job postings were relatively steady over the past two years. For 2020, job postings peaked in October.
Ontario jumped to the top job posting province in 2020, correlating with its spot as the top province for applications. Comparing the past two calendar years, AgCareers.com experienced the largest job posting growth in British Columbia, where job postings increased by more than nine-times the 2019 numbers.
Sales/retail careers continued as the most frequently posted career type, followed by operator/general laborer which grew 94% from 2019 to 2020. We also noted growth in maintenance/repair, manufacturing/production, and specialist positions.
When we examine all Canadian jobs, Commodities & Trading moved up to the leading industry sector on AgCareers.com, followed by Chemical, Pesticide and Fertilizer. The Equipment, Manufacturing, and Technical, and Precision Ag industry sectors were also in the top ten.
There was a 49% decrease in the internship/summer work experience job category in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic’s limits on internship programs. As the industry normalizes in 2021, we expect a resurgence of internship programs as a key developer in the talent pipeline.
Written by Bonnie Johnson, AgCareers.com
Bonnie Johnson is a professional marketing specialist. She supports the AgCareers.com team and brand through her extensive marketing and communications experience.