Decline in EI beneficiaries continues

by Steve Randall25 May 2018

There were fewer beneficiaries of Employment Insurance in March, continuing a trend that began in the autumn of 2016.

Statistics Canada says that 471,500 people received regular EI payments in the month, down 7,000 from the previous month.

Six provinces reported fewer beneficiaries led by BC (down 3.2%), Quebec (down 2.6%) and Alberta (down 2.4%). Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Ontario reported smaller declines.

Nova Scotia and PEI saw beneficiaries rise 1.4% and 1.0% respectively and there was little change elsewhere.

Year-over-year there was a 14% drop in regular EI recipients. That means 76,700 fewer recipients at the same time as the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, a record low since comparable data first became available, in 1976.

Declines in regular beneficiaries were noted in 9 of the 10 broad occupation groups with those working in finance among the groups where EI recipients fell the most.  

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