Bureau of Labor Statistics

Self-employment more important in 1990s Canadian job growth than in American

June 02, 1999

Self-employment accounted for the majority of the net employment growth that took place in Canada in the 1990s, but accounted for almost none of the net growth in the U.S. over the same period. Between 1989 and 1997, self-employment contributed 79.4 percent of job growth in Canada. In the United States, only 0.7 percent of net employment growth was attributed to self-employment.

Self-employment as a percent of total job growth in Canada and U.S., 1979-97
[Chart data—TXT]

The two countries had more similar experiences in the 1980s. In Canada, 17.0 percent of net job creation arose from self-employment in the 1979-89 period. The proportion of net U.S. job growth resulting from self-employment was 13.4 percent.

The data on self-employment in the U.S. come from the Current Population Survey (CPS). For comparison, the above figures reflect both incorporated working owners of firms and unincorporated workers. The official U.S. statistics on self-employment count only unincorporated workers. More information on Canadian and U.S. self-employment can be found in "The role of self-employment in U.S. and Canadian job growth," Monthly Labor Review, April 1999.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Self-employment more important in 1990s Canadian job growth than in American at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/jun/wk1/art02.htm (visited January 21, 2022).

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