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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

April 23, 2024

In 2022, Nova Scotia reported that 62.1% of workers in agricultural industries were seasonal workers- the largest share among provinces. Nationally, seasonal workers represented 49.6% of workers in agriculture. Nova Scotia also reported the lowest share of full-time agricultural workers, while Manitoba reported the highest share (and the lowest share of seasonal workers).

Nova Scotia had 6,426 agricultural workers in 2022. The number of agricultural workers had been declining since 2016 but increased in 2022.

In 2022, 27.0% of workers in agriculture were temporary foreign workers. Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia have markedly higher shares of temporary foreign workers in agriculture compared to other provinces. The lowest share of temporary foreign workers was in Saskatchewan.

Nationally, 25.4% of agricultural workers were temporary foreign workers in 2022. The largest number of those workers were in high value (revenue of $2 million or more) greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, vegetable and melon farming, and fruit and tree nut farming.

In 2023 in Nova Scotia, the highest number of temporary foreign workers were in fruit and tree nut farming, followed by seafood product preparation and packaging. Note that total agricultural employment is not yet available for 2023.

Nationally, there were more foreign workers in vegetable and melon farming and greenhouse, nursery and floriculture, as well as processing industries (bakeries, meat, and other food manufacturing).

In Nova Scotia, the largest number of temporary foreign workers have Jamaican citizenship, followed by Mexico. Nationally, the largest number of foreign workers had Mexican citizenship, followed by Guatemala and Jamacia in 2023.


Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0216-01 Employees in the agriculture sector, and agricultural operations with at least one employee, by provinceTable 32-10-0218-01 Temporary foreign workers in the agriculture and agri-food sectors, by industryTable 32-10-0220-01 Temporary foreign workers in the agriculture sector, by category of farm revenueTable 32-10-0221-01 Countries of citizenship for temporary foreign workers in the agricultural sector

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