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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
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November 28, 2022
BUSINESS OPENING AND CLOSING, AUGUST 2022

Statistics Canada released updated data on monthly business openings and closures for August 2022. The data are seasonally adjusted.

Month-over-month (August 2021 vs July 2021, seasonally adjusted)

The number of active businesses in Nova Scotia decreased 0.88% from July to August 2022 (falling to 20,392 active businesses); this was the largest decline among provinces and the third consecutive monthly decline in active businesses in Nova Scotia.

Nationally, active businesses declined by 0.27%. All provinces reported lower numbers of active businesses in August 2022 than in July.  British Columbia reported the smallest decline in the number of active businesses.  

Year-over-year (August 2022 vs August 2021)

Compared with August 2021, the number of active businesses was up 2.1% for Nova Scotia. Nationally, active businesses were 2.4% higher compared with August 2021. All provinces reported a higher number of active businesses compared with August 2021, with the largest increase in Prince Edward Island and the slowest gains in Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

The number of active businesses in the Halifax and East Hants Census Metropolitan Area was up 6.8% from August 2021 to August 2022. However, the East Hants portion of the CMA was only recently added and this accounts for much of the growth compared with August 2021 (which did not include East Hants in the Halifax CMA). 

Among CMAs, only Belleville reported fewer active businesses over the last year.  The cities with the largest rises in the number of active businesses were Windsor and Peterborough.

Compared with August 2021, the number of active Nova Scotia businesses in August 2022 was lower in forestry/fishing, mining/oil/gas (a small number to start with), wholesale trade, retail trade, information/culture and finance/insurance/company management.  From August 2021 to August 2022, there were notable percentage increases in the number of active businesses in utilities (also starting from a small number) as well as stronger increases in real estate/leasing, administrative/support services (including call centres), arts/entertainment/recreation and accommodation/food services.

Nationally, the number of active businesses was down for forestry/fishing, mining/oil/gas, utilities, transportation and finance/insurance/management.  There were notable increases in real estate/leasing as well as arts/entertainment/recreation. 

Statistics Canada has broken out specific data for tourism-related industries. Compared with August 2021, the number of active tourism-related businesses was up 6.3% in Nova Scotia as of August 2022, with consistent gains across most subsectors and faster gains in travel services.  

Nationally growth in tourism-related businesses was 3.0% over the last year with only a slight rise in transportation for tourism and stronger growth in travel services (which were down substantially during the height of the pandemic).  

Trends

A business will be classified as 'opening' if it had no employment in the previous month and then has employment in the next month. A business is 'closing' if it had employment in the previous month and no employment in the current month. For opening and closing, the reason could be a permanent change (i.e. business exit) or temporary for reasons such as seasonal operations, capital maintenance or restructuring. Continuing business are those that had employment in both the current and previous month. Active businesses are the sum of continuing and opening business in the current month.

The rate at which business either opened, continued or closed can be examined to see how the number of active businesses has changed.  The calculation for the opening, continuing and closure rates are based on the number of active businesses in the previous month. 

Most businesses continue operating each month. In August 2022, Nova Scotia's business continuing rate was 95.7% (95.1% nationally).  Quebec reported the highest business continuing rate (96.3%) while Newfoundland and Labrador reported the lowest (94.3%).

Nova Scotia's business opening rate was 3.88% as of July 2022 (4.42% nationally).  Prince Edward Island had the highest business opening rate (5.44%) while Quebec had the lowest (3.50%).

Nova Scotia's business closing rate was 4.76% in August 2022 (4.85% nationally).  Prince Edward Island reported the highest business closing rate (6.27%) while Quebec had the lowest business closing rate (4.11%).

Construction and retail contributed the most to declining active businesses in Nova Scotia from July to August 2022. 

The source data is seasonally adjusted. The data may not aggregate due to firms being classified into multiple industry or geography.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 33-10-0270-01 Experimental estimates for business openings and closures for Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areasMethodology: Business Opening and Closing