Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

Industrial Summary

Repair, Personal and Household Services

NAICS 8111-8114; 8121-8129; 8131-8139; 8141

This industry comprises establishments not classified in any other services industries and provides a wide range of services to consumers or businesses. It is composed of four segments: repair and maintenance (on motor vehicles, electronic equipment, commercial and industrial machinery, personal and household goods); personal and laundry services (such as hair care, esthetic services, dry cleaning and funeral services); religious, grant-making, civic and professional organizations (supporting religious, social and political causes); and private household services (employing individuals such as home support workers, housekeepers, gardeners, family caregivers and baby-sitters). Repair and maintenance services are the largest segment, accounting for 39% of production and 36% of employment in 2016, followed by religious, civic and professional organizations (32% of production and 25% of employment), personal and laundry services (21% and 31%), and private household services (8% and 8%). Overall, the industry employed 774,900 workers in 2016, distributed proportionally to population: 36% in Ontario, 22% in Quebec, 16% in Alberta, 14% in British Columbia and 14% in the remaining provinces. The workforce is characterized by a slight majority of women (53%), lower wages than the national average, and a significant concentration of self-employed (29%), particularly in personal and laundry services (45%). Given the wide variety of activities, key occupations (4-digit NOC) include a mix of:

  • Hairstylists and barbers (6341)
  • Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers (7321)
  • Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations (6562)
  • Home child care providers (4411)
  • Professional occupations in religion (4154)
  • Motor vehicle body repairers (7322)
  • Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades (7301)
  • Welders and related machine operators (7237)
  • Pet groomers and animal care workers (6563)
  • Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations (4412)
  • Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment) (2242)
  • Dry cleaning, laundry and related occupations (6741)
  • Heavy-duty equipment mechanics (7312)
  • Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners (6342) Funeral directors and embalmers (6346)
  • Other religious occupations (4217)
  • Conference and event planners (1226)
  • Upholsterers (6345)
  • Appliance services and repairers (7332)
  • Jewellers, jewellery and watch repairers (6344)
  • Image, social and other personal consultants (6561)

The industry mostly relies on the performance of the domestic economy, more specifically consumer spending and business activity in Canada, which in turn are driven by growth in disposable income and corporate profits. The religious, civic, grant-making and professional organizations segment is particularly sensitive to discretionary spending and cyclical fluctuation in economic conditions. Following a slight contraction in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 recession, the industry’s output quickly recovered in 2011 and continued to grow at a solid pace during the subsequent three years, largely driven by the gradual improvement in domestic economic conditions. However, output increased at a much slower pace in 2015, before contracting again in 2016, reflecting more modest economic growth in Canada during those two years along with sharp declines in corporate profitability. The religious, civic, grant-making and professional organizations segment was the most severely affected. After reaching a peak in 2012, employment in the industry has been on a declining trend in recent years, including a significant drop in 2015 that was followed by a marginal rebound in 2016. On average, real GDP and employment in repair, personal and household services grew at annual rates of 1.3% and 1.1% respectively over the period 2007-2016. Weak growth in productivity reflects the fact that the industry is highly labour intensive, employing twice as many workers per unit of output as the average for the entire services-producing sector.

Over the projection period, output growth in the industry is expected to accelerate significantly relative to the period 2007-2016, driven by robust labour market conditions in Canada and the resulting increases in disposable income as well as stronger business activities and renewed growth in corporate profits. Population aging is expected to stimulate demand for personal and private household services, including funeral, cemeteries and crematoria services, personal assistance, family caregiving, housekeeping and home support services. The religious, civic, grant-making and professional organizations segment is expected to benefit from the increasing number of retired workers who will have more time to spend on voluntary and charity work or in supporting and advocating various social and political causes. The repair and maintenance segment of the industry is also expected to benefit from the solid pace of growth recorded over the past decade in consumer spending on durable goods, such as motor vehicles, household appliances and electronics. The straightening anticipated in business investment in commercial and industrial machinery and equipment (including electronic and precision equipment) is an additional factor expected to support demand for repair and maintenance services. On the negative side, the industry will be challenged by the fact that growth in consumer spending is projected to weaken progressively over the longer term due to slower growth in disposable income (resulting from the gradual slowdown in overall employment growth in Canada and massive retirements of baby-boomers). Nevertheless, the industry’s real GDP is projected to increase by 1.8% annually over the period 2017-2026, a notable improvement relative to the previous ten years. In contrast, employment growth is expected to weaken significantly, averaging 0.5% per year due to a substantial acceleration in productivity growth. Although the industry is highly labour intensive, the weaker pace of growth anticipated in Canada’s labour supply and the gradual tightening of the labour market are expected to induce employers to automate some of their operations and to come up with new and more efficient ways of delivering services, leading to faster gains in productivity.

Real GDP and Employment Growth Rates in Repair, Personal and Household Services

Figure showing the annual growth of real GDP and employment over the periods 2007-2016 and 2017-2026 for the industry of Repair, Personal and Household 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 Repair, Personal and Household Services, 2007-2016 and 2017-2026, in Percent
  Real GDP Employment
2007-2016 1.3 1.1
2017-2026 1.8 0.5

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


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