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Canadian Small Businesses’ Employees and Owners during COVID-19


  • Beland, Louis-Philippe
  • Fakorede, Oluwatobi
  • Mikola, Derek


Canadian employers are largely small businesses. Their relevance for job creation and labour demand is integral for policymakers concerned with adverse labour market outcomes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the Canadian Labour 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 labour 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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  • Beland, Louis-Philippe & Fakorede, Oluwatobi & Mikola, Derek, 2020. "Canadian Small Businesses’ Employees and Owners during COVID-19," GLO Discussion Paper Series 650, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:650

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    1. Felipe Lozano Rojas & Xuan Jiang & Laura Montenovo & Kosali I. Simon & Bruce A. Weinberg & Coady Wing, 2020. "Is the Cure Worse than the Problem Itself? Immediate Labor Market Effects of COVID-19 Case Rates and School Closures in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 27127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    COVID-19; Self-employed workers; Entrepreneurship; Employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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