The head of dairy giant Saputo Inc. is finding it a struggle to attract new workers as Canada emerges from the worst ravages of the pandemic.

In an interview Friday, Saputo Chair and Chief Executive Officer Lino A. Saputo said a combination of factors, including the federal government’s income supports during the pandemic, have made it more difficult for the company to fill out its workforce.

“We’re dealing with a lack of manpower,” he said. “It’s very, very tough for us despite the fact that unemployment sometimes sits at six-and-a-half, six per cent, we’re still finding some real challenges getting people to come to our facilities, to fill those vacant positions. We’re dealing with all of this, we’re working through it, but a different set of circumstances as we’re coming out of the pandemic.”

Saputo said that while income supports were needed during the worst of the pandemic, the government should roll back some of those measures to incentivize Canadians to rejoin the workforce.

“I think the measures were required during the pandemic to provide people that security, that safety of having that income,” he said. “Now as the economies roll up, we’ve got to ease up on those measures so that people ultimately have an incentive to come back to work.”