Self-employment trends in New Brunswick: 1982-2016

dc.contributor.authorMiah, Pablo
dc.contributor.authorLeonard, Philip
dc.contributor.authorMcDonald, Ted
dc.description.abstractIntroduction The aim of this study is to investigate self-employment trends in New Brunswick over the past three decades – specifically, from 1982 to 2016. Accordingly, this report analyzes the characteristics of self-employed individuals in the province by age, gender, region, and average income. Methodology To estimate self-employment in New Brunswick, this study utilizes the Longitudinal Administrative Databank (LAD): a longitudinal dataset of tax files with information on income and basic demographics for a 20% sample of tax filers in Canada. The report defines self-employment in two primary ways: Broad – any individual who files self-employment income (including negative) is deemed to be under broad self-employment. Strict – any individual who files net positive self-employment income greater than 50% of their total income is under strict self-employment. If an individual reports self-employment earnings in one year but not in the previous year, he/she is considered an “entrant” to self-employment. Likewise, if a tax filer files self-employment income in one year but not in the following year, he/she is considered a “leaver” from selfemployment. Report Findings Overall, from 1982 to 2016, the number of individuals in broad self-employment has grown, with around 43,000 individuals self-employed in 2016 (7% of the total population aged 15 years and over) as opposed to 31,000 in 1982 (6%). However, estimates for strict self-employment show some fluctuation over the years, with an increasing trend until 1998 with 19,335 individuals (3.3%) followed by a declining trajectory in recent years (16,090 individuals, or 2.6%). The average strict self-employment rate over the 1982-2016 study period is approximately 3%. More males than females are self-employed under both broad and strict selfemployment definitions. However, due to growth in female self-employment (broad and strict) and a gradual decline in male self-employment (broad and strict), the difference has diminished in recent years. The age group comprised of individuals 45-64 years old has the highest numbers for broad and strict self-employment. On average, this age group holds the highest broad self-employment rates (10%) and strict self-employment rates (4.5%). This implies that older groups comprise a significant portion of self-employment while participation of younger population has rather remained low and steady, perhaps due to the aging demographic of the province. Strict self-employment numbers in the Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John municipalities have remained steady over the last two decades, following an initial increase. In other regions, strict self-employment numbers have gradually declined. Page 7 However, in relation to population changes in respective regions, self-employment rates have remained relatively stable. Broad and strict self-employment numbers in the fisheries and forestry sectors have decreased by at least 50% between 1982 and 2016. Individuals in broad and strict self-employment have experienced mixed trends in average total income, with broad self-employed individuals earning consistently higher incomes than strict self-employed individuals. By definition, average self-employment income from strict self-employment is significantly higher than that of broad self-employment (in which self-employment may be a parttime job), with average incomes of $28,000 and $12,000, respectively, in 2016.
dc.publisherNew Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training
dc.relationGovernment of New Brunswick, Department of Post Secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL)
dc.relationNew Brunswick Research Data Centre
dc.relationCanadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN)
dc.relationStatistics Canada
dc.relationUniversity of New Brunswick
dc.titleSelf-employment trends in New Brunswick: 1982-2016


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