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 : Purchasing agents and officers (1225)

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
  • Purchasing agents and officers (1225)
Skill Type
Business, finance and administration occupations
Skill Level
Occupations usually require college or vocational education or apprenticeship training.
Employment in 2016
52,600
Median Age of workers in 2016
43.5 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2016
61 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 rate comparable to the average across all occupations. The unemployment rate rose to 6.9% in 2016, very close to the national average of 7.0%. The average hourly wage increased at a pace similar to the national average during this period. Hence, 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 Purchasing agents and officers, over the period 2017-2026, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 24,600, while 24,200 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. The majority of job openings are projected to arise from retirements. The retirement rate for this occupation is expected to be higher than the average for all occupations. Demand arising from economic growth is also projected to be higher than the national average over the projection period. However, there will be fewer new jobs than over the 2007-2016 period. The strong growth relative to the average is attributable to faster growth in importation relative to the previous decade and the good economic outlook, which imply companies are purchasing more, both abroad and locally. However, the greater reliance of businesses on third-party supply chain experts to handle these activities will temper this growth compared with the previous decade. The increasing amount and complexity of regulations associated with merchandise transportation and the ever growing importance of technology in improving the effectiveness and reducing the cost of supply chains will also contribute to slow down employment growth in this occupation. With regard to labour supply, the majority of job seekers are expected to come from the school system, while workers from other occupations are expected to represent about 30% of the total labour supply and immigrants only about 15%.

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: 6,800 28%
Retirements: 15,500 63%
Other Replacement Demand: 1,400 6%
Emigration: 900 4%
Projected Job Openings: 24,600 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 14,000 58%
Immigration: 3,300 14%
Other: 6,900 29%
Projected Job Seekers: 24,200 100%
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