Side Hustle Now the New Normal for Working Canadians

Sage survey found Canadians are embracing change, moving away from a linear career path

Key Findings:

  • One-in-three working Canadians are managing their own side business.
  • More than a third (35%) of working Canadians are actively working on or considering setting up a business.
  • One in six working Canadians have participated in the gig economy.
  • 58% would start a business in a sector different than their current one.
  • 57% working Canadians do not think the current federal government has created a favourable environment to set up a business.

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- One-in-three working Canadians are managing their own side business and 42 per cent are working more than one job, according to a new Sage Survey in Canada, in partnership with Angus Reid Global, a market research agency. In addition, one in six working Canadians have participated in the gig economy.

Side hustles create an alternative path for working Canadians seeking a career change. For those working Canadians who have yet to start a side hustle, more than one-third (35%) are actively working on or considering setting up a business. In fact, 58 per cent would start a business in a sector different than their current one.

The survey, conducted from August 22 to 26, 2019, solicited responses from 1604 working Canadians across the nation, holding full-time or part-time positions or are self-employed, as well as 624 business owners with one or more employees. It found these current or would-be side hustlers are primarily motivated by their desire:

  • For more flexibility / independence/ work-life balance (49%)
  • To pursue their passion (39%)
  • Create their own environment (38%)

“The entrepreneurial spirit in Canada is stronger than ever,” said Paul Struthers, EVP and Managing Director of Sage in Canada. “There’s a clear desire and energy for side hustle amongst Canadians, which tells us that they see real opportunities ahead in finding new customers and underserved markets. Business leaders and governments should do everything possible to help foster these ambitions, so that we can create more jobs and opportunities for our next generation.”

Workers Are Moving Away from a Linear Career Path for Change

The majority (75%) of working Canadians feel secure about their current employment. Nevertheless, many are ready to consider new opportunities, sometimes in new industry sectors:

  • 63% would consider new job opportunities
  • One-in-five (19%) working Canadians are actively seeking new job opportunities
  • Almost half (46%) of these job seekers would move to a new sector

They are also confident that they can find a new opportunity quickly. Only 17% of working Canadians believe they will take longer than 12 months to find another job.

Financial reward is not the biggest driver. 71 per cent of working Canadians would consider a lateral move to another opportunity and a quarter would take a step down financially. The top three reasons for them to seek new opportunities are:

  • Interest in another career path
  • Bored and unchallenged by the current work
  • Lack of opportunities to use their skills/abilities

“We’re seeing working Canadians and business owners committed to their personal and professional growth,” said Demetre Eliopoulos, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Angus Reid Global. “With the emergence of the gig economy and technology lowering the barriers to starting a business, people are finding more and more opportunities in the marketplace - doing more than one job or running a side business. Their ambitions are shaping the future of our economy.”

About the Survey

In partnership with Sage in Canada, Angus Reid Global conducted an online survey among a representative sample of 1604 employed adult Canadians and 624 business owners. The respondents are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, this sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points and 3.9 percentage points respectively, 19 times out of 20.

Media contact:

Betty Tian
Office: 604-207-3611

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About Angus Reid Global

Angus Reid is Canada’s most well-known and respected name in public opinion and market research data. Offering a variety of research solutions to businesses, brands, governments, not-for-profit organizations and more, the Angus Reid Global team connects technologies and people to derive powerful insights that inform your decisions. Data is collected through a suite of tools utilizing the latest technologies. Prime among that is the Angus Reid Forum, an opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.