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Study: Enterprises with employees in many provinces or territories, 2001 to 2011

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Released: 2014-09-05

Businesses with a larger national footprint in Canada, that is those with employees in multiple provinces and territories, increased their share of overall employment from 2001 to 2011 compared with their smaller, more localized counterparts.

Multiple jurisdictional firms accounted for 2.3% of business sector employer enterprises in Canada in 2011. However, their impact was far greater in terms of employment, as about 4 in 10 business sector employees worked for an operation that had payrolls in multiple jurisdictions.

As well, by the end of the study period, more than one-quarter of business sector employment was found in enterprises active in at least six provinces or territories.

Mainly, this reflects large enterprises that spread their employment across jurisdictions. In 2011, 80.0% of business sector enterprises with 500 or more employees were present in multiple provinces or territories, compared with 8.5% of enterprises with at least 10 but fewer than 100 employees.

Some activities are not suited for multijurisdictional operations. For example, both construction and real estate and rental and leasing, which are subject to numerous provincial regulations, had more than two-thirds of their employment in single-jurisdiction enterprises.

Some types of enterprises, in turn, were more likely to operate beyond the borders of a single jurisdiction, including retail trade, as well as mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

As well, businesses largely governed by federal laws—notably finance and insurance, as well as information and cultural industries (which include telecommunications)—were more likely to have a larger national footprint. About 60% of employment in these two industries was in enterprises active in at least six provinces or territories in 2011.

Among the regions, the Prairies and British Columbia gained the most multi-jurisdiction enterprises over the study period, while Quebec lost the most. Although these types of businesses declined in Ontario over the study period, it was still the region with the greatest share of multi-jurisdiction enterprises.

The research article "Enterprises with Employees in Many Provinces or Territories," part of Economic Insights (Catalogue number11-626-X), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Similar studies are available in the Update on Economic Analysis module of our website.

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To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Anne-Marie Rollin (613-951-3116;, Economic Analysis Division.

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