Close-up on the bio-economy: Ontario

Ontario will likely need 24,500 additional bio-economy workers by 2029. Companies in the region will be challenged to fill positions due to a highly competitive labour market and an ongoing lack of capital to attract and retain candidates. Distribution, manufacturing and management capacity will be particularly urgent areas of need across all sub-sectors.

As domestic university degree completions are expected to decline throughout the forecast period, strategies other than recruiting new graduates will be needed to meet the demand for labour — such as recruiting skilled immigrants and looking beyond traditional talent pools.

Ontario has a tremendous opportunity to seek bio-economy talent from under-represented groups. Women make up an average of roughly one-third (35%) of Ontario bio-economy workers overall and visible minorities one-quarter (25%). Other equity-seeking groups have less representation: internationally educated professionals make up an average of 16% of the regional bio-economy workforce, recent immigrants represent 9% and workers with disabilities make up just 1% of the workforce, while representation of Indigenous workers is nearly non-existent.

Building on Sequencing the Data, the last national full LMI study conducted in 2013 , this new national study gives a much-needed update on the complex, multi-dimensional bio-economy, the companies within it, and the skills and talent they require. Its insights are based on surveys, stakeholder roundtables and interviews, an environmental scan and extensive data analysis.

The Close-up on the bio-economy LMI series is published as part of BioTalent Canada’s mission to provide bio-economy stakeholders with valuable, evidence-based labour market intelligence and job-ready human resources.

It also includes:

  • A Demand and Supply Outlook
  • Regional spotlights (Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, Western Canada)
  • Metro hub spotlights (Greater Montreal, Greater Toronto Area, Metro Vancouver)
  • Research briefs on topics such as bio-economy education and work-integrated learning

Visit to download these and other LMI reports, briefs and articles.