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Nearly half of Canada’s workforce will be self-employed by 2020: study

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Nearly half of Canada’s workforce will consist of freelancers, independent contracts and on-demand workers by 2020.

The findings come from a new study created by Intuit Canada, the software company behind TurboxTax and Quick Books, in conjunction with the release of a mobile app designed to help self-employed workers keep track of their expenses.

The survey, which was produced in partnership with consultancy firm Emergent Research and conducted by Angus Reid, found that the ranks of Canadians working in non-traditional jobs would soar to 45 per cent by 2020.

“We’re experiencing a major shift in the Canadian economy and business landscape,” said the report.

“Today, more professionals are joining the growing ranks of the self-employed workers in Canada, driven in part by an increase in the on-demand economy, like ride-sharing, peer-to-peer rental, project-based job platforms and online retail platforms.”

Nearly half of participants who are self-employed said they have taken on these types of jobs because of a greater desire for work-life flexibility.

A further 41 per cent said they opted for self-employment to supplement their income.

And 19 per cent said they have taken on flexible opportunities because they still need or want to work during retirement.

The study also said that many people have been forced to take on these types of jobs because most of the jobs created last year were part-time.

Statistics Canada data shows that Canada added 153,700 net new part-time jobs and just 60,400 full-time positions last year.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau also warned Canadians that they should get used to “job churn,” or jumping from one short-term opportunity to the next.

“Flexibility and work-life balance are part of the story, but there is also the tougher reality that traditional jobs are much harder to come by now than they were for previous generations,” said the report.

“The vast majority of jobs created in the past year are part-time, adding fuel to the explosion of the on-demand economy.”

The survey also asked participants what they struggled with the most.

The biggest problem facing self-employed workers was dealing with an unpredictable income, with 59 per cent identifying this as their greatest concern.