A new GLO Discussion Paper finds for Canada large decreases in the number of small business owners, the number of employed, and in hours worked, from February to July 2020.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 650, 2020
Canadian Small Businesses’ Employees and Owners during COVID-19 – Download PDF
by Beland, Louis-Philippe & Fakorede, Oluwatobi & Mikola, Derek
GLO Fellow Louis-Philippe Beland
Author Abstract: Canadian employers are largely small businesses. Their relevance for job creation and labor demand is integral for policymakers concerned with adverse labor market outcomes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the Canadian Labor Force Survey (LFS) we document how the self-employed, which we interpret as small business owners, and employees of small businesses are being affected by COVID-19. We find large decreases in the number of small business owners, the number of employed, and in hours worked, from February to July 2020. We also find large labor market impact on small business employees. Our research confirms increasing employment, hours worked, and small business ownership as provinces began reopening their economies in May to July 2020. Still, these improvements are often below pre-March 2020 trends with some demographic groups, such as female and immigrant small business owners, having considerably worse outcomes than their respective counterparts.
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