indicatorThe Owl

Number of businesses waning

Economic headwinds helped push down the number of active businesses in Canada over the second half of 2022

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 29 March 2023 1 min read

Statistics Canada has been tracking the number of active* businesses in Canada and the provinces on a monthly basis since 2015.

Nationally, the number of active businesses contracted six times in a row over the second half of 2022.

By December, the number of active businesses in Canada was only 0.1% higher than at the start of the year.

We don’t know exactly why the number of businesses in Canada waned over this period, but Statistics Canada points to red-hot inflation, interest rate hikes, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, labour shortages, and supply chain challenges as the likely culprits.

In Alberta, the number of active businesses pulled back in four out of the last six months of 2022 to the end the year 0.5% lower than in January.

Five other provinces—Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia—also lost ground between the start and end of 2022.

*Active businesses are those that report having one or more employees in a given month.   

Answer to the previous trivia question: The steak that Chet Ripley (played by the late great John Candy) ordered in the 1988 film The Great Outdoors weighed 96 ounces!  

Today’s trivia question: How many active businesses were there in Alberta as of December 2022?

The number of active businesses in Alberta plummeted during the first months of the pandemic

The number of active businesses in Alberta plummeted during the first months of the pandemic


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