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Employment services, 2022

Released: 2023-10-24

Operating revenue, employment services

$23.1 billion


17.7% increase

(annual change)

Employment services maintain strong growth in 2022 after the rebound observed in 2021

Employment services, which include employment placement agencies and executive search services, temporary help services and professional employer organizations, experienced another strong year of growth in 2022 after a bounce back in 2021 (+22.6%). In 2022, operating revenue grew 17.7% to $23.1 billion, as employment services were still in high demand to help fill job vacancies.

Operating expenses grew at a faster pace (+18.5%) than operating revenue, which slightly lowered the profit margin to 6.0% as wage pressures built up. With salaries, wages, commissions and benefits growing by 18.9%, this expense item accounted for 53.5% of operating expenses in 2022.

The majority of sales in the employment services industry in 2022 were to businesses (81.6%). However, with the difficulties in staffing in the health care and social assistance sector, the share of sales to the public sector has been rising since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and reached 13.4% in 2022. Sales outside of Canada (3.4%), mainly from professional employer organizations, have also been rising in the last few years. Sales to individuals (1.6%) continued to hold the smallest client share.

In terms of sales by type of services, temporary staffing services experienced an exceptional boost in 2021, totalling 52.5% of sales. However, that share eased to 48.2% of sales in 2022. Permanent placements and contract staffing services accounted for 42.8% of sales, while other sales of goods and services made up the balance of sales (9.0%).

Looking to 2023

Businesses continued to face obstacles related to labour markets in 2023. However, pressures faced by businesses related to recruiting skilled employees are easing. The job vacancy rate has been consistently dropping since the latter months of 2022, and that trend has persisted so far in 2023. This could be attributed to the solid gains in population, which grew 2.9% from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, the largest year-over-year increase in population since 1957. Furthermore, almost all of the population increase came from net international migration. At the same time, the largest cohorts of baby boomers are turning 65, which will challenge the supply of labour. Detailed financial statistics for the employment services industry in 2023 will be provided following survey data collection in 2024 and will inform on the impacts of these demographic factors.

  Note to readers

The data for 2020 and 2021 have been revised.

Information on the job vacancy rate can be found in table 14-10-0325-01.

Information on weekly earnings can be found in table 14-10-0220-01.

Information on population growth can be found in the release, "Canada's demographic estimates for July 1, 2023: record-high population growth since 1957."

Information on labour market pressures can be found in the release, "Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, third quarter of 2023."

These and other data related to business and consumer services can be found at the Business and consumer services and culture statistics portal.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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