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Annual Head Office Survey, 2018

Released: 2020-01-24

Despite head office closures in several sectors, including retail, the number of head offices increased moderately (+0.3%) to 2,737 in 2018, and head office employment rose slightly (+0.1%) to 228,291 employees. The addition of new head offices for cannabis companies was one factor driving this increase.

Prince Edward Island saw the strongest growth in head office employment (+7.4%), while Saskatchewan experienced the greatest decline (-3.1%). Since 2012, the number of head offices in Canada has remained relatively stable. However, the number of people employed in head offices has grown. This trend was not observed in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Head office employment remained concentrated in Ontario (42.6%), Quebec (23.4%) and Alberta (16.3%) in 2018.

The majority of head offices were located in major census metropolitan areas (CMAs). Toronto had the most head office employees (76,731) of any CMA, in part because of the financial sector. Montréal was next (42,462), followed by Calgary (29,251) and Vancouver (16,261).

Similarly, Toronto also had the most head offices (698), followed by Montréal (385), Vancouver (242) and Calgary (212).

  Note to readers

Head offices include establishments and locations primarily engaged in providing general management or administrative support services to affiliated establishments. Their activities include corporate functions, such as strategic organizational planning, communications, tax planning, legal services, marketing, finance, human resource management and information technology services.

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