Self-employment, by industry

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Most workers in agriculture are self-employed

  • Agriculture has the highest rate of self-employment in the main job. However, that rate has declined sharply in the last few years, from a peak of 71.1% in 1997 to 62.4% in 2007. Farm self-employment has followed a long-term downward trend for a combination of reasons, including fewer but larger farms, rising farm productivity and growing non-farm employment opportunities.

  • The professional, scientific and technical services sector, which includes legal, engineering and management consultant firms, accounting businesses, and computer system design companies, had the second-highest self-employment rate in 2007 (33.4%). This sector accounted for 27.7% of total self-employment growth from 1989 to 2007. It also included the highest number of business owners, at 380,000.

  • The 'Other services' sector—which includes automotive, electronic and machinery repair and maintenance services, and personal care and laundry services—had the third-highest rate of self-employment in 2007 (32.0%), closely followed by the construction sector (31.1%).

Chart E.11
Rate of self-employment, by industry, 2007

Chart E.11 Rate of self-employment, by industry, 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0012.

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