Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

Search for Occupational Projection Summaries (2017-2026)

Note: The projections were developed for 292 occupational groupings that cover the entire workforce, using the 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC). For additional information on these groupings, please visit the COPS Occupational Groupings' Definition.  For more information about the methodology used to assess each occupation, please click here.

Search Result : Machine operators and related workers in mineral and metal products processing and manufacturing (9410)

Occupational Outlook
BALANCE: Labour demand and labour supply are expected to be broadly in line for this occupation group over the 2017-2026 period at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.
Occupations in this Group
  • Machine operators, mineral and metal processing (9411)
  • Foundry workers (9412)
  • Glass forming and finishing machine operators and glass cutters (9413)
  • Concrete, clay and stone forming operators (9414)
  • Inspectors and testers, mineral and metal processing (9415)
  • Metalworking and forging machine operators (9416)
  • Machining tool operators (9417)
  • Other metal products machine operators (9418)
Skill Type
Occupations in manufacturing and utilities
Skill Level
Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training.
Employment in 2016
100,500
Median Age of workers in 2016
42.8 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2016
62 years old

In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2017-2026) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2017-2026. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.

Over the 2014-2016 period, employment in this occupational group increased at a stronger rate than the average for all occupations. The unemployment rate decreased slightly to 7.0% in 2016, the same as the national average. However, the average hourly wage also fell slightly. Hence, the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group over the 2014-2016 period.

For Machine operators and related workers in mineral and metal products processing and manufacturing, over the period 2017-2026, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 39,800, while 37,300 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be at relatively similar levels over the 2017-2026 period, the balance between labour supply and demand seen in recent years is expected to continue over the projection period. There will be many retirements in this occupational group, given that these workers tend to retire earlier in their career and are, on average, older than in other occupations. Employment growth is expected to be similar to the average for all occupations, which is an improvement compared to the 2007-2016 period, when employment dropped. After peaking in 2005, employment in the manufacturing industries related to these occupations fell for four consecutive years, partly because of the collapse of the housing sector in the United States, the difficulties of the North American auto industry, the sharp appreciation of the Canadian dollar, and the global recession of 2008-2009. Stimulated by the economic recovery in North America, employment rebounded in 2010, followed by modest increases in four of the six subsequent years. Over the projection period, production and employment in these industries are expected to grow at a healthy pace, partly reflecting stronger investment growth in machinery and equipment in North America and healthy growth in construction activity. On the other hand, output growth in motor vehicles, trailers and parts is expected to be constrained by foreign competition, notably from Mexican producers who benefit from generous government subsidies and low wage costs. With regard to labour supply, school leavers will account for the majority of job seekers. Another important source of supply will be mobility. These workers will come from other occupations in the manufacturing sector looking for better employment prospects and for higher wages as this occupational group is amongst the highest paid in manufacturing.

Projection of Cumulative Job Openings and Job Seekers over the Period of 2017-2026

This table contains data related to Projected Job Openings.
Level Share
Expansion Demand: 7,900 20%
Retirements: 27,200 68%
Other Replacement Demand: 3,100 8%
Emigration: 1,700 4%
Projected Job Openings: 39,800 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 16,400 44%
Immigration: 6,800 18%
Other: 14,100 38%
Projected Job Seekers: 37,300 100%
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