Government of Nova Scotia, Canada

Home > Economics and Statistics > Archived Daily Stats
The Economics and Statistics Division maintains archives of previous publications for accountability purposes, but makes no updates to keep these documents current with the latest data revisions from Statistics Canada. As a result, information in older documents may not be accurate. Please exercise caution when referring to older documents. For the latest information and historical data, please contact the individual listed to the right.

<--- Return to Archive

For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

March 22, 2024

Monthly (December 2023 vs November 2023, seasonally adjusted)

The number of active businesses in Nova Scotia declined 0.40% from November to December 2023 (going down to 20,579 active businesses).                                                                                                                                     

Nationally, active businesses were down by 0.24%. All provinces reported lower numbers of active businesses in December 2023 compared with November 2023. The largest declines were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.  The softest decline was in Quebec. 

A business will be classified as 'opening' if it had no employment in the previous month and then has employment in the next month. A business is 'closing' if it had employment in the previous month and no employment in the current month. For opening and closing, the reason could be a permanent change (i.e. business exit) or temporary for reasons such as seasonal operations, capital maintenance or restructuring. Continuing business are those that had employment in both the current and previous month. Active businesses are the sum of continuing and opening business in the current month.

The rate at which business either opened, continued or closed can be examined to see how the number of active businesses has changed. The calculation for the opening, continuing and closure rates are based on the number of active businesses in the previous month. 

Most businesses continue operating each month. In December 2023, Nova Scotia's business continuing rate was 95.6%, similar to the national average of 95.5%. Québec reported the highest business continuing rate (96.3%) while Newfoundland and Labrador (93.7%) reported the lowest.

Nova Scotia's business opening rate was 4.2% in December 2023 (4.5% nationally). Prince Edward Island had the highest business opening rate (5.1%) while Quebec had the lowest (3.6%).

Nova Scotia's business closing rate was 4.6% in December 2023 (4.9% nationally). Newfoundland and Labrador reported the highest business closing rate (5.9%) while Québec had the lowest business closing rate (3.8%).

Year-over-year (December 2023 vs December 2022)

Compared with December 2022, the number of active businesses was down 0.31% for Nova Scotia. Nationally, active businesses were 0.18% lower than in December 2022. Two provinces reported a higher number of active businesses compared with December 2022, with the largest gain in Alberta. Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan reported the largest year-over-year declines in active businesses. 

The number of active businesses in the Halifax and East Hants Census Metropolitan Area was up 0.7% from December 2022 to December 2023.   

Out of 35 CMAs, 16 reported growth in active businesses over the past 12 months. Brantford and Windsor reported the largest rises in the number of active businesses while Regina and Peterborough reported the biggest declines.

Compared with December 2022, the number of active Nova Scotia businesses in December 2023 was lower in most business sector industries, led by mining/oil/gas, retail, wholesale and finance/insurance/management. From December 2022 to December 2023, there were increases in the number of active businesses in utilities, construction, real estate/leasing, professional/technical services, and accommodation/food. Forestry/fishing active businesses were unchanged year-over-year.

Nationally, the number of active businesses was down for all business sector industries except construction (unchanged), professional/technical (unchanged), utilities, arts/entertainment/recreation and accommodation/food.

Statistics Canada has broken out specific data for tourism-related industries. Compared with December 2022, the number of active tourism-related businesses declined 0.3% in Nova Scotia as of December 2023, with declines in travel services, recreation/entertainment, and food/beverage, offsetting increases in accommodations and transportation.

Nationally the number of tourism-related businesses increased 0.7% from December 2022 to December 2023. Growth in travel services, accommodations, food/beverage offset declines in transportation and arts/recreation/entertainment. 


There has been a downward trend in forestry/business active businesses, while the decline in mining/quarrying has stabilized in the last year.

After steady growth after the pandemic, the number of construction businesses has plateaued. Manufacturing businesses have remained stable for the past 2 years.

There have been recent declines in active personal/repair services and arts/recreation businesses.

Retail and wholesale businesses have declined in recent months.

Real estate/leasing active businesses have stabilized after recent growth while administrative/support/call centre businesses have a recent decline. Transportation businesses have been trending down slightly over the last year.

There has been a recent decline in professional/technical services active businesses after steady gains in the last two years. Finance/insurance/management businesses have also trended down in recent months while the number of active businesses in information/culture has remained stable.  

The source data is seasonally adjusted. The data may not aggregate due to firms being classified into multiple industry or geography.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 33-10-0270-01 Experimental estimates for business openings and closures for Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areasMethodology: Business Opening and Closing

<--- Return to Archive