Close-up on the bio-economy: Prairies

The Prairie bio-economy is likely to require 3,400 additional workers by 2029. Companies will be challenged to fill positions due to a highly competitive labour market and difficulty finding candidates with the right skill sets. R&D capacity will be a particularly urgent area of need across all sub-sectors.

While some shortages may be mitigated by more active recruitment of new graduates in relevant fields, the region’s post-secondary institutions are not expected to be able to meet the sector’s full labour needs. Additional strategies will be required to meet the demand for labour, such as recruiting skilled immigrants and looking beyond traditional talent pools.

The Prairie bio-economy has a tremendous opportunity to seek talent from under-represented groups. On average, women make up 43% of Prairie bio-economy workers overall. Other equity-seeking groups have less representation: visible minorities make up 17% of the bio-economy workforce, recent immigrants 12% and internationally educated professionals 11%. Indigenous workers make up 3% of the bio-economy workforce and people with disabilities just 1%.

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.