The 10 Worst Jobs in Canada

Are you employing people in some of Canada's dwindling fields? The prognosis for jobs in the manufacturing sector

Written by Staff

This week, Canadian Business released its list of the worst jobs in Canada—and there are a lot of manufacturing jobs on it.

The ranking is based on five-year salary growth, growth in employees, and total number of people employed in that area. Almost all of the manufacturing jobs listed had between a 40% and 66% decline in the number of employees from 2006-2012. While this report is about workers, it’s worth it for owners of these types of enterprises to take a look.

The worst job in Canada: pulp mill operator. Despite a five-year salary growth of 5% and a relatively high median salary ($56,000), the writers at Canadian Business say “this is as bad as it gets.”

Canadian Business‘ Samson Okalow writes, “Pulp and paper isn’t an industry you want to be in right now, despite the $34-billion sector being a leading contributor to Canada’s GDP. The global economic slowdown has taken its toll, as have issues like overcapacity, the environment (those beetle infestations haven’t helped either) and rising costs.”

Labourers in wood, pulp and paper processing plants are in the number four spot. Despite employment trending down, salaries for these workers are way up—even so, the outlook for this industry isn’t substantially different from that of the pulp mill operators.

Number 10 is a plastics processing machine operator. Slow economic growth in the plastics industry has meant significantly fewer jobs here over the previous decade. Environmental efforts to reduce plastics use may also be a factor.

At number eight: foundry worker. Metal foundries and foundry departments of metal products manufacturing companies have been affected by the recession. But the good news is the sector isn’t as negatively affected by improvements in productivity as are some other related jobs. As such, the federal government is predicting improvement in this category in coming years.

The sixth worst job is rubber processing machine operator. Employed by tire manufacturers and other rubber products manufacturing companies, these workers are the only ones across all 10 categories to see their average salaries decline over the last few years.

At number 3 is a weaver or knitter. Textile companies and garment and mattress manufacturing companies are no longer a significant presence in the Canadian landscape, with most work long ago having migrated to places like China, Bangladesh and Mexico.

Read Canadian Manufacturers Find Success in Niche Industries

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