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Annual Head Office Survey, 2011

Released: 2013-03-26

From 2010 to 2011, the number of head offices declined 0.8% to 2,843.

During the same period, the number of people employed in the head office industry rose 1.1% to 219,629.

Distribution by province and territory

The distribution of head offices by province and territory was relatively stable from 2010 to 2011. Ontario (40.0%) had the largest proportion in 2011, followed by Quebec (20.3%), Alberta (14.2%) and British Columbia (11.5%).

Ontario (42.1%) also had the largest proportion of head office employees, again followed by Quebec (23.6%), Alberta (17.0%) and British Columbia (7.4%).

These four provinces accounted for 86.0% of the head offices and 90.1% of the head office employees.

From 2010 to 2011, the province with the largest increase in the number of head office employees was Alberta (+1,966), while the province with the largest decrease was Ontario (-333).

Most head offices located in the largest metropolitan areas

Most of the head offices were located in the eight largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs), namely Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa–Gatineau, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Québec.

These eight CMAs accounted for roughly half of Canada's population in 2011, but 68.9% of its head offices and 83.6% of its head office employees.

Among the eight CMAs, Toronto had the largest number of head offices and head office employees, with 734 head offices and 71,895 employees. It was followed by Montréal, with 405 head offices and 42,104 employees; Vancouver with 247 head offices and 14,458 employees; and Calgary with 224 head offices and 29,603 employees.

From 2010 to 2011, the number of employees rose the most in Calgary (+6.5%) and Edmonton (+3.4%). Meanwhile, the number of employees fell in Toronto (-0.5%) and Winnipeg (-0.3%).

Number of head offices per 100,000 population

Among the eight CMAs, the largest number of head offices per 100,000 population in 2011 was in Calgary (17.7), followed by Toronto (12.6), Winnipeg (11.9), Edmonton and Montréal (both 10.4), and Vancouver (10.2).

In 2011, two of the eight CMAs, Québec (7.7) and Ottawa–Gatineau (6.0), had fewer than 10.0 head offices per 100,000 population.

Main head offices of Canada's top 500 enterprises

The main head offices of Canada's top 500 enterprises accounted for 17.6% of the total number of head offices in 2011, but 57.9% of the total number of head office employees.

From 2010 to 2011, the number of employees at these main head offices increased by 2,287 employees, or 1.8% and accounted for 95.3% of the total increase in head office industry in that period.

These head offices were located mainly in Ontario (49.2%), Quebec (19.4%) and Alberta (15.2%). Likewise, the employees of those offices worked mainly in Ontario (44.2%), Quebec (20.9%) and Alberta (19.9%).

Canada's eight largest CMAs accounted for 84.6% of the main head offices of Canada's top 500 enterprises and 89.1% of the people employed at those head offices.

Among these eight CMAs, Toronto had the most main head offices of Canada's top 500 enterprises with 204 in 2011, followed by Montréal (82) and Calgary (62).

Toronto also had the most people employed at main head offices, with 46,536 employees in 2011. As a result of a 9.2% increase from 2010 to 2011, Calgary (22,036 employees) rose to second place, slightly ahead of Montréal (21,399 employees).

Analysis by industry sector

In 2011, over half of all head offices belonged to enterprises in retail trade (20.2%), manufacturing (18.6%), or wholesale trade (13.1%).

Head office employees mainly belonged to enterprises in manufacturing (18.8%), retail trade (17.0%), and finance and insurance (12.7%).

Geographically, 85.3% of head offices and 98.8% of head office employees in the oil and gas extraction industry were located in Alberta in 2011. More specifically, 79.4% of head offices and 95.0% of head office employees in this industry were located in the Calgary.

In the finance and insurance sector, 30.6% of head offices and 43.0% of head office employees were located in the Toronto.





  Note to readers

"Head office industry" includes all entities, including Crown corporation entities, whose main business activity is to provide management or administrative support services to other entities of the same enterprise. Their activities include functions, such as strategic organizational planning, communications, tax planning, legal services, marketing, finance, human resource management, and information technology services.

For this release, an enterprise may have more than one head office; however, only one of them may be considered the main head office. The others are considered secondary head offices. If an enterprise has only one head office, then that head office is the main head office.

The list of the top 500 enterprises is compiled according to the enterprises' total revenue for each reference year. Since total revenue changes each year, the list may vary.

The number of employees is the average number of people employed at a head office during the reporting period. It includes full-time, part-time and temporary employees and employees absent with pay.

The industry sector and total revenue of the enterprise to which a head office belongs are determined from the enterprise structure recorded in the Business Register.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

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