Setting up Shop: Self-employment Amongst Canadian College and University Graduates
AbstractChanges in the labour market such as an increase in the incidence of part-time, part-year work, multiple job holding and self-employment have often been conjectured as demand-driven shifts - that is, that they have resulted from a lack of more traditional job opportunities rather than in response to workers' changing preferences. Yet while the issue of non-standard work is an interesting and important one, there is relatively little existing empirical evidence on the topic. The general purpose of this paper is to report the results of an empirical analysis that exploits the self-employment status indicator available in the National Graduates Survey (and Follow-Up) databases. It documents and analyses the patterns of self-employment amongst several cohorts of Canadian post-secondary graduates in the first five years following graduation. More specifically, it provides solid empirical documentation of the incidence of self-employment (levels, patterns, trends) amongst recent college and university graduates, overall, and broken down by degree level, sex and year of graduation. This paper also addresses the issue of whether self-employment tends to be the preferred employment option (for those who enter it), or the result of a lack of suitable "conventional" employment opportunities, or some combination of the two. There are two over-arching conclusions to be drawn from the analysis. First, the incidence of self-employment was relatively stable for the first three cohorts of graduates covered in the analysis. The overall rates ranged from 6.5 to 11.1 percent amongst male graduates and from 3.2 to 6.7 percent for females. The rates tended to be higher for some (but not all) graduates of the most recent cohort (graduates of 1995). Second, the evidence generally points to self-employment representing a relatively attractive job status on average: For every cohort the rates of self-employment rise from the first interview
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2002183e.
Date of creation: 21 Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Labour; Education; training and learning; Employment and unemployment; Job training and educational attainment; Outcomes of education;
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