Issue 17-53: Head Offices

March 17, 2017

There were 2,724 head offices in Canada in 2015, down (-1.3%) from 2,759 one year prior. At the same time, B.C. saw its count slip 1.9% between 2014 and 2015 (from 313 to 307). With the exception of New Brunswick and P.E.I., where the number of head offices remained unchanged, every province recorded a decline between 2014 and 2015.

In 2015, Ontario continued to lead the way as a head office location (40% of the national total), followed by Quebec (21%), Alberta (14%), and then B.C. (11%). Head offices include establishments and locations primarily engaged in providing general management and/or administrative support services to affiliated establishments.

Of Canada’s 229,160 head office employees in 2015, over two-thirds worked in Quebec and Ontario. Meanwhile, B.C. was home to 17,394 head office workers, eight percent of the national total. B.C. gained head office jobs in 2015, as employment climbed 0.6% from 17,289 in 2014. The rest of western Canada experienced declines over the same period, including a notable 3.3% decrease in Alberta.

Canada’s head office employment is concentrated in four major metropolitan centres – Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Vancouver. As the province’s biggest metropolitan area, the majority of B.C.’s head offices are located in the Vancouver region. In fact, of the province’s 307 head offices reported by Statistics Canada in 2015, 233 (76%) were located in the Vancouver region.

Data Source: Statistics Canada