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 37% of production and 36% of employment in 2018, followed by religious, civic and professional organizations (33% of production and 24% of employment), personal and laundry services (21% and 32%), and private household services (8% and 7%). Overall, the industry employed 802,900 workers in 2018, distributed proportionally to population: 36% in Ontario, 22% in Quebec, 15% in British Columbia, 14% in Alberta, and 13% in the remaining provinces. The workforce is characterized by a slight majority of women (54%), lower wages than the national average, and a significant concentration of self-employed (29%), particularly in personal and laundry services (44%). 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)
  • Shoe repairers and shoemakers (6343)

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 fluctuations 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 from 2015 to 2018, reflecting more modest economic growth in Canada, particularly in 2015-2016, and lower corporate profitability. Private household services and religious, civic, grant-making and professional organizations segments were severely affected. The resulting pace of growth in the industry’s real GDP averaged a modest 1.0% annually over the period 2009-2018. Employment fluctuated significantly during the past decade, but remained on a positive trajectory, resulting in a net annual increase of 0.5%. Despite the high degree of labour-intensity that characterized the industry, productivity growth accounted for half of the increase in production. The repair and maintenance segment posted the strongest gains in productivity, being the most likely to adopt innovative equipment and automation technologies. For example, repetitive or high-risk repair and maintenance activities can be increasingly performed by advanced robotics and artificial intelligence.

Over the period 2019-2028, output growth in the industry is projected to accelerate significantly and be more in line with aggregate demand, driven by an economy operating close to full capacity and stronger business activities resulting from the pick-up anticipated 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. Renewed growth anticipated in business investment related to 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 slower growth in the working-age population in Canada and massive retirements of baby-boomers). Nevertheless, the industry’s real GDP is projected to increase by 1.9% annually over the period 2019-2028, a notable improvement relative to the previous ten years. Faster output growth is also expected to lead to a slight acceleration in employment growth, averaging 0.7% per year, although productivity should account for the largest part of the increase in production. 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 an increasing share 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 average growth rates of real GDP and employment over the periods 2009-2018 and 2019-2028 for the industry of repair, personal and household 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 Repair, Personal and Household Services (%, annual average)
  Real GDP Employment
2009-2018 1.0 0.5
2019-2028 1.9 0.7

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

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