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New Conference Board Economic Indicator

The Conference Board's newly launched Composite Leading Index shows that the Canadian economy will grow in the first half of 2014 — but only modestly. The Index rose 0.3 per cent in December matching the gains made in both October and November. This trend signifies that the economy is growing, but Canadian growth will not pick up the pace until later in the year. The Composite Leading Index sums up the performance of ten components that track the short-term course of the economy.

Features

The Falling Loonie

The biggest economic story of the new year has been the fall of the Canadian dollar. The Conference Board's assessment is that the drop in the dollar, if sustained, would have a small positive impact on economic growth in the short term. Some exporters may stand to benefit, but a declining loonie will also hit all Canadians in the pocketbook. More important than the value of the loonie is the signal it sends about the Canadian economy.

Taxis: That other supply management system

Shopping for milk and hailing a cab are two everyday activities that do not seem to have much in common. Yet, they are more alike than they appear at first glance. Dairy products are managed by a complicated system under which the amount to be produced is predetermined. Taxis are organized much the same way. Taxicab service remains tightly controlled even during times of high demand, such as the holiday season.

Why a Canadian Food Strategy?

Food impacts our lives, our health, our jobs, and our economy. Since 2010, the Conference Board's Centre for Food in Canada has been bringing together stakeholders from different sectors to create a Canadian Food Strategy—one that will meet the country's need for a coordinated, long-term strategy on industry prosperity, healthy and safe food, household food security, and environmental sustainability. The strategy will be launched at the 3rd Canadian Food Summit 2014: From Strategy to Action on March 18–19 in Toronto.

Measuring and Managing Innovation

It is perhaps the worst-kept economic secret in the country. Canada does not take advantage of its innovation capabilities, and that is impeding its growth potential. Canadian firms can use metrics to improve their innovation activities and competitiveness. However, almost 40 per cent of Canadian companies don't measure the success of their innovation activities at all. Of those firms that do, most use the kinds of measures that don't actually link well to their organizations' bottom-line results.

Conference Board of Canada One of the National Capital Region's Top Employers

The Conference Board of Canada is proud to announce that it has again been recognized as one of the National Capital Region's Top Employers for 2014. This marks the fifth time in seven years that the Conference Board has been named to the list of top employers in the Ottawa region. A key to our success is our ability to attract and retain outstanding talent, and this recognition only strengthens our position as an employer of choice.


CBoC Highlights

Photo of the Hon. Jason T. Kenney Photo of Vijay Gill

Satyamoorthy Kabilan, Director, National Security and Strategic Foresight, delivered a presentation on security and intelligence at the Canadian International Council dinner that aired on CPAC on January 18.

Pedro Antunes, Director, National and Provincial Forecast, discussed Canada's December job losses and the economy on CBC's Power & Politics on January 10.



In This Issue

  • New Conference Board Economic Indicator
  • The Falling Loonie
  • Taxis: That other supply management system
  • Why a Canadian Food Strategy?
  • Measuring and Managing Innovation
  • Conference Board of Canada One of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers

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Four Employee Trends Disrupting Traditional Benefits Plans

May 01, 2019

As workplaces become more generationally diverse, the needs of employees have become more complex. More than ever, HR professionals are looking for ways to respond to these varied needs.

Employers have their work cut out for them when it comes to remaining cost-effective while providing today’s workforce with the most valuable health benefits.

Based on the 2019 Benefits Benchmarking report, here are the top four employee trends disrupting traditional benefits plans:

Cannabis in the Workplace

Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001, and the number of authorized users has grown dramatically. By mid-2018, 342,000 Canadians were registered to use legally.

Due to the recent legalization of recreational cannabis, medical cannabis is expected to be more common. Employees are increasingly turning to their employers with questions about coverage. Yet, only a handful of the Canadian organizations we surveyed offer coverage for medical cannabis.

Employers should consider creating strategies that are mindful of this new frontier.

Aging Workforce

The needs of Canadian employees have become increasingly complex as Canada’s largest generation continues to work past the typical retirement age. This has put pressure on the health care system. Employers find themselves challenged to address the needs of this generation head-on.

Organizations are aware of this trend, and they are looking for technology to better manage health care needs.

Increase Use of Biologic Drugs

There has been an increase in the use of biologic drugs and a greater focus on paramedical services. This has made it difficult for organizations to decide where to invest resources.

Given this growing trend, having a drug cost management strategy is becoming increasingly important for the long-term sustainability of benefits plans.

Virtual Health Care and Wellness

Organizations are seeking more cost-effective, creative, and proactive ways to maintain and improve employee health. Canadian organizations are increasingly turning to new technologies that focus on prevention, such as virtual wellness technologies to manage health and fitness and pharmacogenetic testing.

Different industries align their benefits strategies with virtual wellness technologies in varying ways. Their focuses may include physical wellness, improving financial wellness, reducing stress, absenteeism, or productivity.

Get ahead of these disruptors by leveraging data from 217 Canadian organizations in the 2019 Benefits Benchmarking report. Read on.