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The Business Researcher Newsletter
 April 30, 2004  Volume 7 Number 3




 Introduction: Opening Comments


Welcome to the April issue of our newsletter.

Some of you may notice a big difference in this issue. We are now publishing in both plain text (the usual format) and in HTML. If you see colour and graphs, your e-mail program can read the HTML. If you prefer the "original" version simply go to the end of this newsletter and click on "update profile". There you can indicate your preference for "text" only.

As this is our first attempt at publishing in two formats, please let us know of any problems you encounter.

This newsletter is sent out to only those who have subscribed themselves to it. If you would like to unsubscribe go to the end of this newsletter and click on "unsubscribe" or send us an e-mail at

The big data news this month is that Statistics Canada has released December 2003 business counts. These latest figures are now included in all of our Canadian Industry Profiles. For more information see: For highlights from this release see the article below "Business Population Rebounds".

Also released this month was the 2003 edition of Annual Demographic Statistics. This publication contains population estimates by age and sex for Canada, the provinces, territories, census divisions and census metropolitan areas as well as estimates by age, sex and marital status for the provinces and territories.

A CD-ROM, included with the publication, contains even more data. The historical time series includes population data from 1971 for provinces and territories, and from 1996 for census divisions and census metropolitan areas. The CD-ROM also includes animated age pyramids, which illustrate the aging of the population.

We are happy to be able to offer this amazing demographic resource for only $107.20 (20% off the Stats Can cover price of $134.00). For more information or to place an order see our web site:

I hope you find this issue helpful.

John White
GDSourcing - Research & Retrieval

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 What is new at Hearts, Pipes & Movies

Canadian Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Team
Site Summary:
Data on cardiovascular health and outcomes


Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
Site Summary:
Pipeline quick stats for member companies.
Site Summary:
Current top movies in Canada by box office sales.

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 Statistics Canada Releases

The following statistics were released by Statistics Canada over the last month. We have listed those releases we feel are of the most interest to Canadian entrepreneurs.

Very few of these statistics are available on-line. The URL listed is a direct link to the press release associated with the data. It provides contact and ordering information.

If you want to purchase any publication related to these releases please see our web site:

We offer a 20% discount on most Stats Can publications and a 10% discount on Stats Can electronic products. For more information you can reach us at Put "StatsCan" in the subject line of your e-mail.



Farming operating revenues and expenses 2002 (final estimates)



Employment services industry 2002

Management, scientific and technical consulting services 2002



The economy: Year-end review 2003



National Graduates Survey: Student debt Class of 2000

Youth in Transition Survey 2002



Births 2002

Stillbirths 2002

Study: Birth outcomes in British Columbia 1981 to 2000

Induced abortions 2001

Suicide in Canada's immigrant population 1995 to 1997



Domestic travel 1999 (revised estimates)

National tourism indicators 2003 and fourth quarter 2003

Traveller accommodation survey 2002 (preliminary)

Travel arrangements industry 2002



Electronic commerce and technology 2003



Youth custody and community services 2001/02



Energy consumption by manufacturing industries 1990 and 1995 to 2002

Natural health products survey 2004



Annual demographic statistics 2003



Personal services industry 2002

Annual Survey of Consumer Goods and General Rental Centres 2002



Low income in census metropolitan areas 1980 to 2000



Annual wholesale trade 2002

Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey 2003 and fourth quarter 2003

The exchange rate and terms of international trade 2003



Aircraft movement statistics 2003

Annual survey of water carriers 2002

Trucking industry 2002



Study: Permanent layoff rates 1983 to 1999

Study: Minimum-wage workers 2003

Study: Moving out of low-paid work 1996 to 2001

Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds) 2002 biennial census

Study: Long-term unemployment 1976 to 2003

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 Business Population Rebounds

Growth in the number of businesses in Canada rebounded in 2003 after a dismal performance in 2002. As of December 2003 there were 2.3 million businesses in Canada, a net 4.7% increase over the previous year. This growth rate easily shattered the previous rate of 0.7%.

Much of this growth however came among the smallest of businesses. Indeterminate businesses, those without full-time employees, grew the fastest increasing by a net 8.8% to 1.2 million. Small businesses with 1 to 20 employees saw little change for the third year in a row recording only a 0.5% increase between 2002 and 2003.

2000 2001 2002 2003
Total 2,024,508 2,190,278 2,204,782 2,308,093
Indeterminate 982,304 1,143,408 1,157,641 1,260,061
1 to 20 emp 900,852 907,557 902,812 906,917


Annual % Growth in Business Establishments

2001 2002 2003
Total 8.2% 0.7% 4.7%
Indeterminate 16.4% 1.2% 8.8%
1 to 20 emp 0.7% -0.5% 0.5%


On a regional basis, Ontario lead the country in growth of business establishments (6.5%) but among small businesses Nunavut led the way. The territory saw a phenomenal 23.7% increase in indeterminate businesses and a respectable 3.3% increase in small employer businesses (1 to 20 employees).

PEI saw the slowest growth in business establishments recording only a 0.4% increase. Among small employer businesses they actually saw a -3.1% net decrease. However the island province did not lag among indeterminate business creation. Manitoba and Saskatchewan were tied in that distinction lagging at 4.1% in indeterminate business growth.

No one industry dominated business growth. In fact looking at overall, indeterminate and small employer growth there is a wide variety of business industries represented.

Perhaps the most interesting is that the Internet sector is back as a top performer. Internet Publishing and Broadcasting was the industry with the fastest growth overall in 2003. (NB: only industries with at least 35 or more business establishments in 2002 were included in the rankings.) It increased by 89.6% or a net increase of 60 businesses. Web Search Portals also showed a significant 48.7% or 19 business increase. They ranked 7th in growth.

A perennial growth sector - business services - ranked second with the catchall industry category of Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (e.g. Arbitration and conciliation services, Patent broker services, Weather forecasting services). This industry saw an increase of 71.2% (+2617 businesses).

Rounding out the top three was a member of the Health sector. Last year Other Out-Patient Care Centres grew by 59.0% or +882 businesses. These are establishments which are primarily engaged in providing specialized outpatient services, such as dialysis.

Among indeterminate businesses the top three performers were Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (104.9%, +2092 businesses), Other Direct Insurance (except Life, Health and Medical) Carriers (74.0%, +37 businesses), and Other Out-Patient Care Centres (72.8% +768 businesses)

Surprisingly the Consumer Electronics and Appliance Rental industry (67.9%, +110 businesses) was the leader among small employer businesses (1 to 20 employees). Health Care took second place. This time through the industry category Other Health and Personal Care Stores (e.g. Health appliance stores, Hearing aids, retail, Orthopaedic aids, retail). Small employers in this industry grew by the 30.7%(+157 businesses). The third fastest in growth was the Oil and Gas Contract Drilling sector (30.3% +122 businesses).


Fastest Growing Industries by Business-size Category - 2003

Rank Overall Indeterminate Small Employer
(1 - 20 employees)
1. Internet Publishing and Broadcasting Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Consumer Electronics and Appliance Rental
2. Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Other Direct Insurance (except Life, Health and Medical) Carriers Other Health and Personal Care Stores
3. Other Out-Patient Care Centres Other Out-Patient Care Centres Oil and Gas Contract Drilling


The above rankings examine the percentage increase in specific industries. The ranking changes if you only consider the actual net increase in the number of businesses. Overall and among Indeterminate establishments Computer Systems Design and Related Services led the way showing a net increase of 5424 business in 2003 (+5380 indeterminate businesses). Among small employers full service restaurants demonstrated the largest increase (+1194).


The sectors that suffered the greatest loss in business population in 2003 were:

Livestock Combination Farming (-448 businesses)

All Other Support Services (e.g. Auctioneering service, Bartering services, Inventory taking service, Water meter reading service) (-337 businesses)

Small Employers:
Civic & Social Organizations (-445 businesses)

If you are interested in the performance of your own particular industry see our Canadian Industry Profiles. They now include the latest 2003 business counts. See:

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 Break the Habit of Poor Internet Searches

Searching the Internet can be a frustrating experience. Many researchers however compound the problem by repeating their own bad habits over and over again.

The worst habit is not focusing your search words. In a recent survey it was found that more than half (51.5%) of all online searches use only one or two words. Given that the size of the Internet is now in the billions of web pages searching by only one or two words will inevitably return millions of unrelated and irrelevant results. It will only work if you are searching on very unique words or specific company names. Unfortunately, for most searches this is not the case.

Don't follow the crowd! Search with more than two words. Better yet, use combinations of words and short phrases. Most search engines let you search on phrases if you put quotation marks around the words you want to search on. (E.g. "hot tub"). Also look at the help feature of the search engine you are using to find out what special symbols you can use to focus your search even more. Remember, sifting more than 3 pages of results is unproductive. Instead refocus your search terms and expand them to be more specific.

The second bad habit of poor Internet searching is using the same search engine for every search. According to a recent iProspect Search Engine User Attitudes Survey 56.7 of Internet users use the same search engine or directory over and over again. They tend to be stubbornly loyal to their favourite search engine even when they do not always get the results they want. The most popular search engines were Google (iProspect "loyalty rate" of 66 %), Yahoo! (55%), MSN (54%) and AOL (49%).

While loyalty is an admirable quality it is not a sound research strategy. Successful searches on the Internet are not based on which search engine is considered the best or the most popular but rather on which search engine can locate the information you need. Different search engines work according to different software algorithms. Each provides a different perspective of the web. Make sure your search is 360 degrees!

2004 promises to be the most exciting in many years for the Internet Search engine market. And no, it has nothing to do with Google going public.

Instead the real excitement is that Yahoo! has gone from being one of Google's best clients to being its main competitor. Before you scratch your head too hard on this one and dismiss me as a techno geek, let me explain.

The Internet search market is made up of two kinds of services. The first are "directories, sites where human editors have organized other web sites into categories. Yahoo! is the most famous of these search services. The other type of search service is "crawlers". Crawlers automatically "crawl" the Internet searching out links and compiling search results. Each "crawler" compiles its database by using a unique search algorithm. The most famous crawler today is Google. Distinguishing between the two types, directories and crawlers is usually pretty straight forward.

Where things get murky is when you scratch below the surface. When you conduct a search on Yahoo! it searches its directory but to enhance the search results and hopeful be more helpful to the researcher, it also accesses a "crawler" service. Up until February of this year, Yahoo! accessed the Google crawler. All this time you thought you were using Yahoo! and underneath the Google search engine was at work. Approximately a third of all Google searches came from Yahoo! users.

Yahoo! has now brought their crawler searches in-house. They now use the Inktomi crawler service they purchased in 2003. Yahoo! has been working diligently to make this crawler a formidable competitor to Google.

What all of this means to the business researcher is that if you conduct a search on Google and the same one on Yahoo! you will now effectively access two separate crawlers resulting in different results. It is like searching the haystack from two different sides.

While there are a number of "crawlers" searching the Internet, four stand out as the most effective:

  1. Google (most famous and popular)
  2. AllTheWeb (rivals Google in comprehensiveness)
  3. Inktomi (one of the oldest crawlers online, newly revitalized by Yahoo!)
  4. Teoma (smaller compared to the others but known for better relevancy)

Each of these crawlers in turn powers other web search services:

Google powers: Google, AOL, Netscape
AllTheWeb powers: AllTheWeb
Inktomi powers: Yahoo! MSN, HotBot
Teoma powers: Ask Jeeves, Teoma


If you are not finding the results you require in one search engine switch to another. Even if you find useful links in your first search, try the same search with another crawler to see if other relevant results exist.

To facilitate this strategy bookmark all of the principle search engines in your browser or use the following page as a search starting point:

When you are finished searching in one search engine, highlight your search terms by dragging your cursor over them, then press Ctrl-C to copy the text. When you have arrived at your new search engine use Ctrl-V to paste the text into the new search box. Make any adjustments that are necessary to take full advantage of the new search engine. If you are not sure what to do, read their help section. It sounds like a daunting task but believe me you will get faster the more searches you do and you will immediately see relevant results!

There is another search creature out there that can also assist in this process. It is called the Meta Search engine. These search services query a number of search engines at the same time. The biggest and most effective players in this market are,,

Given the existence of a Meta Search Engine the question immediately arises why would anyone bother to use a Single engine. The most straight forward answer is that relevant search results from one source such as Teoma could be buried under not-so-relevant results from 15 other sources. Also, Meta Search Engines cannot always take advantage of special search symbols and strategies that work in one search engine but not another.

Variety is the key to successful Internet searching. Use a variety of words and phrases in your search and try a number of search engines in your quest for information.

Here is a list of links to all the search tools mentioned above:

Search Engines

Meta Search Engines

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 Small Business Stats Facts

Each Business Researcher Newsletter ends with a collection of five statistics related to Canadian small businesses.


  1. What % of small business owners say they are doing much or slightly better than 12 months ago?


Source: CFIB (Q1 2004)



  1. What % of small business owners expect improved performances for their firms 12 months from now?


Source: CFIB (Q1 2004)

  1. What is the average age of a self-employed incorporated owner in Canada? Self-employed unincorporated?


Self-employed incorporated: 46.4 years old
Self-employed unincorporated: 45.9 years old

Source: 2001 Census



  1. How many self-employed Canadians were there in 2003?

2,345,900 (1,586,700 men & 826,000 women)

Source: Statistics Canada (2004)



  1. What has been the annual % change in self-employment over the last 5 years?

Source: Statistics Canada (2004)

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G D S O U R C I N G - R E S E A R C H & R E T R I E V A L
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UPDATED: 05/18/2004
1998-2004  GDSourcing - Research & Retrieval