More Canadians want to be Job-Free
By Shafiq Jasar
December 10, 2012
Based on the Government of Canada statistics, in 2011, there were 2.67 million self-employed workers, representing around 15.4 percent of all employed workers in the Canadian economy. In the past 10 years the number of people working for themselves increased by 17 percent, while the overall labour force growth rate was at 15 percent.
An interesting thing is that a little more than one third of self-employed individuals were women. The share of self-employed women rose progressively between 1976 and 1998 from 26 percent to 36 percent, and has remained at around 35 percent since 1999.
This tells us an interesting story about the present and future trends.
As the Globe and Mail recently reported, more than half million Canadians established their own businesses in the past two years. This is a record number for Canada. The most welcoming news is that 80 percent of them started to work for themselves voluntarily, not because of layoffs or pressure from employers.
Canadians are increasingly jumping into the world of self-employment, as reported by CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce). According to economist Benjamin Tal (the study author), several factors appear to be driving the trend:
- The aging population: The over 50 crowd represents 30 per cent of all the new startups.
- Technology like the Internet that makes the process easier.
- Outsourcing by corporations to small firms.
- The continued influx of immigrants: They represent a sizable section of the self-starters.
All indications are and most experts agree that this trend is irreversible and in the coming ten years the growth in self-employment will be the fastest we have ever seen in the past decades.
The new entrepreneurs are more educated than the previous generation and younger Canadians are also more interested in working for themselves than generations before.
Europe and the United States are following the same trends.
The fastest growing sector was educational services where in the past 5 years it increased by 65 percent followed by healthcare services with a growth of 20 percent during the same period. British Columbia is leading the nation by having higher numbers of startups.
What does this tell us? It tells us that more and more people are becoming aware of their own abilities. They realise that they can create their own work without relying on someone else.
It also tells us perhaps even more compelling reason: People are increasingly getting tired of being stuck in a structured environment which was created during the industrial revolution a couple of centuries ago. This archaic model of work is obsolete; at least for those of us who want to have flexible work at more flexible times.