Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

Industrial Summary

Management, Administrative and Other Support Services

NAICS 5511; 5611-5619; 5621-5629

This industry is composed of three segments: management of companies and enterprises (including security holdings and head offices); administrative and support services (such as record keeping, employment placement, document preparation, call centres, collection agencies, travel arrangement, and security, janitorial and landscaping activities); and waste management and remediation services (such as the collection, treatment and disposal of waste material, soil remediation, waste water treatment, hazardous material removal). Administrative and support services are the largest and the most labour intensive of the three segments, accounting for 67% of production and 93% of employment in 2016. In comparison, management of companies and enterprises accounted for 22% of production and 6% of employment, versus 11% and 1% respectively for waste management and remediation services. The industry employed 766,400 workers in 2016, mostly concentrated in Ontario (43%), Quebec (24%), British Columbia (14%) and Alberta (10%). The workforce is characterized by a slight majority of men (56%) and a significant proportion of self-employed (25%) and part-time workers (25%). The industry is also characterized by much lower wages than the national average. Given the wide variety of activities, key occupations (4-digit NOC) include a mix of:

  • Light duty cleaners (6731)
  • Security guards and related security service occupations (6541)
  • Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers (8612)
  • Janitors, caretakers and building superintendants (6733)
  • Other customer and information services representatives (6552)
  • Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services (8255)
  • Cleaning supervisors (6315)
  • Material handlers (7452)
  • Travel counsellors (6521)
  • Public works maintenance equipment operators and related workers (7522)
  • Specialized cleaners (6732)
  • Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists (2225)
  • Human resources and recruitment officers (1223)
  • Employment counsellors (4156)
  • User support technicians (2282)
  • Public works and maintenance labourers (7621)
  • Court reporters and medical transcriptionists and related occupations (1251)
  • Collectors (1435)
  • Conference and event planners (1226)
  • Pest controllers and fumigators (7444)
  • Tour and travel guides (6531)

Overall, the industry is heavily reliant on the performance of the domestic economy, particularly business activities and corporate profitability as it is primarily engaged in activities that support the day-to-day operations of other organizations. With the exception of waste management services that are less sensitive to cyclical fluctuations in economic conditions, the other segments of the industry were negatively affected by the recession of 2008-2009, as a result of the sharp decline in corporate profits wich fell by 47% in 2009 only. During that year, production contracted significantly and the industry cut 20,000 jobs. It took three years for output and employment to fully recover from its pre-recession level, due to the high degree of uncertainty about economic prospects. Production and employment growth strengthened after 2012, primarily driven by higher demand for employment, building and security services. However, demand for office support and travel arrangement has been declining in recent years, most likely due to the growing use of automated administrative software and travel booking platforms from businesses. On average, real GDP and employment in the industry increased at annual rates of 1.1% and 1.2% respectively over the period 2007-2016. Anemic growth in productivity reflects little investment in new capital to increase the workers’ efficiency and the fact that a large number of tasks are highly labour intensive. Capital expenditures in the industry decreased for two consecutive years during the recession and for two additional years following the oil price crash in 2014.

Over the period 2017-2026, output growth in the industry is projected to accelerate significantly relative to the previous decade, primarily driven by stronger business activities and renewed growth in corporate profitability. The industry will continue to benefit from the growing number of firms across the economy that choose to outsource management, administrative and other support functions in order to remain focused on their core activities and increase operation efficiency, particularly manufacturing firms which are more likely to be exposed to fierce competition from low cost countries. Under that context, the straightening anticipated in Canadian manufacturing activity and additional growth in other sectors of the economy represent greater opportunities for the industry. The faster pace of growth projected in the construction of commercial, industrial and institutional buildings is expected to boost demand for facilities support services such as janitorial and landscaping, care and maintenance, guard and security, mail routing and logistical support services. Massive retirements of baby-boomers from the labour market are expected to stimulate demand for employment and recruitment services, while the growing number of mergers and acquisitions resulting from globalization is expected to increase demand for the management of companies and enterprises, including security holdings and head offices. Demand for waste management and remediation services is also expected to increase, particularly for water treatment, as part of the “Clean Water and Wastewater Fund” put in place by the federal government in its Budget 2016 ($2 billion over four years). On average, the industry’s real GDP is projected to increase by 1.9% annually over the period 2017-2026, a notable acceleration relative to the previous ten years. In contrast, employment growth is expected to weaken marginally, averaging 1.0% per year due to a significant straightening in productivity. While the industry is highly labour intensive, an increasing number of occupations and tasks are being automated and performed by technology, particularly those involving routine or low-skilled work. At the same time, an increasing number of non-routine jobs and cognitive tasks are being complemented and enhanced by technology. For example, tasks related to administrative support and travel arrangements can be increasingly performed by software and online applications, while rapid advancements in robotics and security systems may result in greater automation of tasks related to janitorial, cleaning and security services. Artificial intelligence and machine learning may also complement tasks associated with more complex administrative and management work.

Real GDP and Employment Growth Rates in Management, Administrative and Other Support Services

Figure showing the annual growth of real GDP and employment over the periods 2007-2016 and 2017-2026 for the industry of Management, Administrative and Other Support Services. The data is shown on the table following this figure

Source: Statistics Canada (historical) and ESDC 2017 COPS industrial scenario (projections).

Text Version of Figure Real GDP and Employment Growth Rates in Management, Administrative and Other Support Services, 2007-2016 and 2017-2026, in Percent
  Real GDP Employment
2007-2016 1.1 1.2
2017-2026 1.9 1.0

Source: Statistics Canada (historical) and ESDC 2017 COPS industrial scenario (projections).


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