Quick fact

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Aging and self-employment

Self-employment incidence increases with age. Older workers (age 55 and over) are almost twice as likely as core-age workers (25 to 54) to be self-employed.  In 2009, well over a quarter (28.3%) of older workers were self-employed, compared to 15.7% of core-age workers.

In 2000, over one-fifth (21%) of all the self-employed were older workers—a share that climbed steadily throughout the decade, reaching 29% in 2009. In contrast, paid employees age 55 and over made up 14% of the total salaried workforce in 2009, but this was an increase from only 8%  ten years earlier—another sign of population aging.

Older workers were the only population group spared the impact of the recent labour market downturn, but the job gains among self-employed individuals age 55 and over (7.6%) far exceeded the increase among their counterparts who were paid employees (2.9%).

Chart - Self-employment rate in the last decade


Chart - Self-employment rate in the last decade

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.

Total self-employment grew 2.7% in 2009, whereas total employment among paid employees fell by 2.4%. While 2009 was a bad year for paid employees and a good year for the self-employed, 2007, for example, was a good year for both—overall unemployment was then at a record low of 6.0%.

Table - Self-employment in the last decade

For more information, see "Self-employment in the downturn" - HTML | PDF 

Quick fact archive

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: