COVID-19: The Road to Recovery

Updated: January 31, 2023

Latest Research and Insights

Man with credit card and phone on a couch

Canadian Economics    January 31, 2023

The Bank of Canada signalled in December that it could pause future rate hikes after seven consecutive months of increases. These rate hikes have dramatically increased borrowing costs, and Canadians have been unwilling to spend big.

Online experience  •  8-min read

nurse, nurse on computer, nurse teaching

On the Other Side of the Screen

Education & Skills    January 30, 2023

Experiential learning (EL), or learning by doing, lets students train in real-life settings. It helps them develop their technical and social and emotional skills (SES), discover career options, and set goals. Traditionally, EL takes place in person, and students develop skills through hands-on practice. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced many programs that include EL to find alternative ways to deliver education.

Issue briefing  •  20-min read

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Long-Term Downer: U.S. Outlook to 2045

Canadian Economics    January 30, 2023

The huge stimulus required to support the economy during the pandemic has been one of the key factors behind the surge in inflation in the U.S. economy. Other factors behind the rising inflation include the severe disruption in global supply chains linked to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The sharply higher interest rates required to bring inflation down to the Federal Reserve’s target will lead to far weaker growth over the near term.

Online experience  •  8-min read

Demographics Rule the Day: Canadian 20 Year Outlook

Canadian Economics    January 26, 2023

We expect the global economy to regain some balance, and the further advancement of developing economies will provide both new markets for Canadian sales and new sources of competition. The passing of the baby-boom generation through their retirement years will drive consumption patterns toward health, lifestyle, and home services spending before evening out once again. In their place, the influence of younger new Canadians will set the tone for home trends and workplaces.

Online experience  •  8-min read

On the Heels of a Successful Summer: Travel Markets Outlook

Canadian Economics    January 24, 2023

In many places, the pace of tourism’s rebound pushed beyond what the industry was prepared to handle. Frenetic activity at airports and passport offices made national headlines. But despite these challenges, the tourism sector’s recovery began in earnest. From this new vantage point, what will the next phase of the recovery look like?

Online experience  •  8-min read

Salary Increases Lag Behind Inflation: Compensation Planning Outlook

Human Resources    January 23, 2023

Each year, the Conference Board’s Compensation Planning Outlook provides a trusted forecast for compensation and HR professionals across the country. This report gives the most up-to-date data, essential for any organization looking to secure the talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Online experience  •  8-min read

Canadian Industries are Writing a New Chapter: Industry Lens

Canadian Economics    January 20, 2023

As businesses across Canada embark on a new era, there are plenty of bright prospects across several industries in the Canadian economy. But which sectors will come out ahead?

Online experience  •  8-min read

Turbulence Ahead: Provincial Outlook

Canadian Economics    January 18, 2023

Engineering a slowdown to quell inflation is what the Bank of Canada has wanted, and the signs of such are unmistakable. Employment and output growth has pretty much stopped, and while inflation is still running hotter than desired, signs of moderation are emerging. 

Online experience  •  8-min read

Consumer Confidence Continues to Fall: Index of Consumer Confidence

Canadian Economics    December 1, 2022

Unaffordability persists as a worry as we head into the festive season. High borrowing costs and prices have forced households to retract discretionary spending. Higher gas prices and shelter costs were key culprits in keeping inflation elevated.

Online experience  •  8-min read

Looking up a glass office building

Shocks and Struts: Canadian Outlook

Canadian Economics    October 18, 2022

The main forces shaping Canada’s economic outlook have changed little over the past several months, but they have evidently become more intense. The result will be a virtual stoppage of economic growth in this country. Whether the economy steers past a recession will depend on the robustness of its shock absorbers.

Online experience  •  8-min read

Inflation and Interest Rates Bring New Challenges: Major City Insights

Canadian Economics    October 21, 2022

While ongoing supply chain issues and other challenges sparked by the pandemic are still headaches, COVID-19 is no longer the biggest risk to the economies of most major cities across Canada. The main concern in the near term is the impact of stubbornly high inflation and rising interest rates.

Online experience  •  8-min read

Two people working on laptop in server room

The Model of Occupations, Skills and Technology

Canadian Economics    October 11, 2022

To help prepare Canadians for the future of work, our researchers and data scientists proudly developed the MOST on behalf of the Future Skills Centre. A sophisticated and data-rich projection tool, the MOST is designed to offer unique insights into the skills that will power Canada’s future labour markets.

Online experience  •  8-min read
Partner: Future Skills Centre

Different Is Necessary

Health    October 7, 2022

Value is defined as achieving the best patient-centred clinical and operational outcomes at the lowest total cost over the full care cycle. This is a big shift from the traditional approach of focusing on the lowest possible acquisition price. Across Canada, trail-blazing policies, legislation, and practices are laying the foundation for the application of value-based procurement.

Impact paper  •  24-min read

Working Through COVID-19 Series

Throughout the pandemic, The Conference Board of Canada conducted a number of surveys on the changes it wrought on people and organizations. This is what they had to say.

The pandemic has super-spread disruption, transforming the way we work like never before. In March 2020, many organizations had to send large numbers of their employees home. What was long considered improbable—a remote workforce—became an immediate reality. Now, with the vaccine rollout well under way, organizations are beginning to consider what the workplace of the not-so-distant future will look like.

Canada is early in its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, and unknowns remain around the legality of an employer’s role in supporting vaccination efforts. In most cases, employers will be legally limited to encouraging employees to get vaccinated—and that’s what the majority plan to do.

COVID-19 has shed new light on the importance of mental health and wellness. Organizations, and the programs they provide, play a pivotal role in supporting employees’ wellness through these tough times. The Conference Board of Canada asked organizations across the country how they’re managing employee wellness through benefits for the largest group of their full-time workforce.

From family obligations to remote work, we’ve surveyed COVID-19’s effects on Canadian employers and workers. But how is the pandemic changing the ebbs, flows, and makeup of the workforce? We asked organizations about how COVID-19 is affecting their turnover, attraction, and retention rates—and the strategies they’ve put in place to manage.

COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Will employers keep their employees working remotely? And will remote workers be on the hook for home office expenses?

Pre-pandemic, nine in 10 organizations had less than 20 per cent of their workforce working remotely. COVID-19 has flipped this on its head. Now, nearly two thirds of organizations have at least 60 per cent of their workforce working remotely.

Summer is typically prime vacation time. Will it be this year? With nowhere to go and travel restrictions still in effect, employees may be less motivated to use their vacation in the coming months.

This is a top concern among employers that could lead to paying out large amounts of unused vacation, or more employees taking time off at year-end. Organizations are encouraging—or even requiring—their employees to draw down their accrued vacation. Only a small number of organizations are directing when employees must take this time off.

As provinces move to ease restrictions, Canadian organizations must consider a return of their employees to physical workplaces. With COVID-19 still active, what will this shift look like, and how prepared are employers for the risks? How will this impact working arrangements in the long term?

Only 8 per cent of organizations are fully prepared to reopen workplaces. 40 per cent will require employees currently working remotely to return to the workplace in some capacity. This is most common in transportation and warehousing, where 58 per cent of employers have taken this approach.

As COVID-19 distancing measures continue into the year, Canadian organizations are exploring ways to reduce any overhead they can. How is this affecting employee benefits coverage?

68 per cent of organizations have not made—nor are they considering making—any changes to the employee benefits offerings we surveyed. Leading the pack, 46 per cent of utility companies have made or are considering making changes to employee benefits coverage. Retail trade follows at 44 per cent of companies. Almost all organizations in these industries are looking to increase coverage as opposed to reducing it. Across all organizations that have made changes, 46 per cent increased their paid sick leave.

As COVID-19 distancing—and budgeting—measures continue, many HR leaders are re-evaluating the status of upcoming salary increases and short-term incentive payouts.

The Conference Board of Canada has asked organizations across Canada how they’re managing pay planning for employees at all levels. Here’s what we found.

As COVID-19 continues to shift the daily rhythms of Canadian households, millions of Canadians are feeling the pinch to balance competing demands of work and family. What are their employers doing to help?

The Conference Board has asked organizations across Canada how they’re accommodating employees with family responsibilities. Here’s what we found.

The Conference Board has asked HR professionals across Canada about the many ways they’re supporting their public-facing workers. Here’s what we found.

Nine out of 10 organizations offering premiums are adding a fixed amount to employees’ pay. On average, employers are providing $4.43 per hour worked.

The spread of the novel coronavirus disease is changing the nature of work. For many Canadians, it’s also changing how they get paid. As businesses adapt to physical distancing, how are Canada’s workers—especially those who cannot do their jobs remotely—being supported by their organizations?

91 per cent of organizations are navigating our new reality with employees who cannot work remotely.

Mental Health and COVID-19 Video Series

Additional Resources

As an evidence-based organization, we know how important reliable information is. We have created a list of additional credible sources for COVID-19 updates and information.

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The spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created uncertainty in all global markets. We’re doing our best to provide timely updates, but information can fall out of date quickly. The Conference Board of Canada reserves the right to adjust content as necessary. Any errors or omissions in fact or interpretation are the responsibility of The Conference Board of Canada.