Self-employment in Canada, 2018

Release date: May 28, 2019
Self-employment in Canada, 2018
Description: Self-employment in Canada, 2018

Self-employment in Canada, 2018

15% (2.9 million) of the total Canadian workforce was self-employed in 2018.

Among the self-employed, 62% were men and 38% were women.

Older workers were more likely to be self-employed than younger workers.

Share of workers in each age group who were self-employed
15 to 24 3%
25 to 54 14%
55 and older 26%
Occupations with the highest proportion of self-employed workers:
Managers in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture 94%
Fishing vessel masters and fishermen/women 78%
Managers in food service and accommodation 72%
Optometrists, chiropractors and other health diagnosing and treating professionals 72%
Creative and performing artists 71%
Physicians, dentists and veterinarians 68%

Top four reasons for being self-employed:

  1. Independence, freedom, being one's own boss 33%
  2. Nature of job 15%
  3. Work-family balance 9%
  4. Flexible hours 8%

About 3 in 10 self-employed workers cited independence, freedom and being their own boss as the main reason for their choice of self-employment.

Men (38%) were more likely than women (26%) to indicate independence as their top reason for self-employment

Women were more likely to cite work-family balance (15%) or flexible hours (11%) as their main reason for self-employment compared with men (5% and 7% respectively).

Note: For more information, see the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (71-543-G).

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.

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