Labour Relations Outlook 2022—Part 1: The Bargaining Environment

The Conference Board of Canada, 22 pages, January 5, 2022
Issue Briefing by
(You must be signed in and entitled to rate this report)


The Canadian economy is recovering, employment has returned to pre-pandemic levels, and wages are improving. However, fiscal uncertainty, labour shortages, and growing unionization rates are priorities for labour relations leaders.

Document Highlights

  • After more than a year of unprecedented challenges, the Canadian economy is projected to expand by 5.1 per cent this year and 4.4 per cent in 2022. Increased vaccination rates and loosened restrictions have led to increased economic activity, higher wages, and a return to pre-pandemic levels of employment. However, challenges remain for the economy—specifically uncertainty around new COVID-19 variants and long-standing labour shortages in several industries that could threaten economic growth.
  • Salary increases for unionized employees are estimated at 1.9 per cent for 2022. This is below the projected average wage increase of 2.4 per cent for non-unionized employees and the forecast inflation rate of 2.6 per cent.
  • While most managers predict a cooperative union-management relationship heading into 2022, 12 per cent of organizations expect an uncooperative year, which could be linked to unionization growth and the onset of new union-management relationships.

Table of Contents

Key Findings
Economic Outlook at a Glance
Compensation Plans for Unionized Employees
Non-Unionized Salaries Rebound in 2022
Union-Management Climate Remains Optimistic
Brighter Days Ahead

Appendix A—Methodology

Appendix B—Bibliography

COVID-19: Get all the insights

To see if you are entitled to get this research for free, take a minute and create a free e-Library account. This will let us determine if someone else at your organization has already purchased access to this material.

Browse by...
Need Help?