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 73% of production and 93% of employment in 2018. In comparison, management of companies and enterprises accounted for 17% of production and only 1% of employment, versus 10% and 6% respectively for waste management and remediation services. The industry employed 777,100 workers in 2018, mostly concentrated in Ontario (41%), Quebec (25%), British Columbia (13%) and Alberta (11%). The workforce is characterized by a slight majority of men (55%) and a significant proportion of self-employed (26%) and part-time workers (23%). The industry is also characterized by much lower wages than the overall economy 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 superintendents (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 which plunged 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. Output growth strengthened markedly from 2012 to 2015, primarily driven by higher demand for employment, building and security services. However, production stagnated from 2016 to 2018, reflecting lower activity in management of companies and weaker demand for office support and travel arrangement, most likely due to the growing use of automated administrative software and online travel booking platforms. The resulting pace of growth in the industry’s real GDP averaged a modest 0.7% annually over the period 2009-2018. On the employment side, growth largely tracked the rate of output, albeit at a faster pace of 1.0% per year, leading to negative growth in productivity. The decline 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 economic slowdown resulting from the oil price crash in 2014-2015.

Over the period 2019-2028, output growth in the industry is projected to accelerate significantly relative to the previous decade, primarily driven by stronger business activities and a pick-up 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 acceleration anticipated in Canadian manufacturing activity, combined with solid activity in other sectors of the economy, represent greater opportunities for the industry. The acceleration 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 and skills mismatches resulting from technological change are expected to stimulate demand for employment, recruitment and training 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. Activity in waste management and remediation services is also expected to increase, as environmental concerns have led to the creation and implementation of new waste regulations and more demand for waste management services, particularly in recycling and composting.

On average, the industry’s real GDP is projected to increase by 1.9% annually over the period 2019-2028, a notable acceleration relative to the previous ten years. However, employment growth is expected to remain essentially unchanged, averaging 1.1% per year, reflecting a significant pick-up 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, a growing number of non-routine jobs and cognitive tasks are being complemented and enhanced by technology. For example, tasks related to administrative support, travel arrangements and staffing services 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 average growth rates of real GDP and employment over the periods 2009-2018 and 2019-2028 for the industry of management, administrative and other support services. The data is shown on the table following this figure

Sources: Statistics Canada (historical) and ESDC 2019 COPS industrial projections.

Text Version of Figure Real GDP and Employment Growth Rates in Management, Administrative and Other Support Services (%, annual average)
  Real GDP Employment
2009-2018 0.7 1.0
2019-2028 1.9 1.1

Sources: Statistics Canada (historical) and ESDC 2019 COPS industrial projections.


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