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Economic Downturn Creates a New Wave of Self-Employed in Canada, Kelly Workforce Survey Reveals

TORONTO, May 05, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Canada's economic recession has forged a new generation of home-grown entrepreneurs, with approximately one-in-five respondents describing themselves as 'self-employed,' and more than half expressing a desire to work more independently, according to the latest survey from workforce solutions leader Kelly Services.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 134,000 people, including more than 15,000 in Canada.

The survey also finds that almost 20 percent of respondents want to start their own business, with Gen Y (aged 18-29) the most enthusiastic about starting a commercial venture.

The ranks of the self-employed -- also known as independent contractors or free agents -- are more likely to be Gen X (aged 30-47) and baby boomers (aged 48-65), and are mostly male.

Kelly Services VP and Managing Director of Canadian Operations Karin French says, "Many of those who lost their jobs as a result of the global economic crisis are reinventing themselves as independent contractors, freelancers and consultants. Today, more people are taking charge of their own careers and view self-employment as a way of achieving personal and professional success."

Results of the survey in Canada reveal:

--  21 percent of respondents are currently self-employed, made up of 26
    percent of baby boomers, 21 percent of Gen X and 18 percent of Gen Y.

--  The largest concentration of self-employed workers are in Quebec
    (24 percent), followed by Ontario (21 percent), Alberta (20 percent),
    British Columbia (19 percent), New Brunswick and Saskatchewan (16
    percent), and Nova Scotia (13 percent).

--  The main factors respondents cite that would prevent a move into
    self-employment are uncertainty about income, lack of support, and
    risk of failure.

--  Most baby boomers (57 percent) and Gen X (51 percent) believe their
    skills would be sufficient to enable self employment, compared with 41
    percent of Gen Y.

--  One third of respondents believe there will be strong market demand
    for their individual skill sets.

--  18 percent of respondents plan to start a business, comprising 22
    percent of Gen Y, 16 percent of Gen X, and 13 percent of baby boomers.

The appeal of self employment coincides with a trend toward the outsourcing of non-core functions, which has seen many organizations reduce their permanent workforce, creating new opportunities for these independent contractors.

When seen from a generational perspective, there is a pattern of younger workers being more enthusiastic than their older counterparts about embarking on a more flexible and entrepreneurial work arrangement.

Those industries with the greatest concentration of self employed workers were IT, Education, and Business Services.

"Our survey results indicate an increase in the number of people who are either engaged in or are planning some form of entrepreneurial activity. Despite uncertainty, the idea of moving out of the traditional employment relationship is appealing to those who want the flexibility of working for themselves," French concludes.

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 134,000 people from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific responded to the 2010 survey with results published on a quarterly basis. In 2009, Kelly Services was the recipient of a MarCom Gold Award for the Kelly Global Workforce Index in the Research/Study category.

About Kelly Services
Kelly Services, Inc. is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to 480,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2009 was $4.3 billion. Visit www.kellyservices.com.





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