Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis

Measuring the Potential Economic Impacts of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148), 2017

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) is expected to increase the risks and uncertainties for many Ontario business sectors.

  • Significance: Ontario businesses will need to adjust to at least one of 64 different labour cost outcomes
  • Suddenness: 15 month period with significant ambiguity yet to be resolved or tested
  • Size: scheduled minimum wage changes are the largest in 45 years

The Bill creates a $23 Billion challenge for Ontario businesses in just the first 2 years. Putting this into perspective, the amount in play represents about:

  • 21% of Ontario private business investment each year (excluding residential construction)
  • 100% of the corporate tax revenues paid to the Ontario government each year

The $23B challenge is expected to put about 185,000 jobs at risk over the coming years representing about 2.4% of all employees relative to expected employment growth. Based upon the expected behaviour of Ontario businesses the $23B challenge could be met through:

  • 50% of costs reduced through employment changes,
  • 21% absorbed by business, and
  • 29% passed onto consumers

The independent analysis was supported by the Keep Ontario Working Coalition (KOW) and Ontario Chamber of Commerce.