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%).
Rate of self-employment, by industry, 2007
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0012.