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Fewer Canadians receiving EI payments but 2 provinces saw a rise

by Steve Randall on 25 Oct 2019

The number of Canadians receiving employment insurance payments was virtually unchanged in August from the previous month but was down 10,300 (2.2%) year-over-year.

Statistics Canada says that the monthly changes saw a decrease of 1.4% in Ontario while Quebec and Prince Edward Island saw increases in beneficiaries.

For Quebec, the August increase (2.8%) marked a continuation of an upward trend in beneficiaries that began in April. The Quebec CMA saw a 3.5% increase with a 2% rise for Montreal.

However, the number of regular EI beneficiaries in Quebec was down 4.6% year-over-year and matched the decline in Newfoundland and Labrador. The two provinces led a total seven provinces in declining numbers of regular EI beneficiaries but this was partially offset by increases in New Brunswick (+4.0%) and British Columbia (+1.5%).

Statistics Canada’s data on EI claims shows that there were 235,700 EI claims in August, a 3.1% decrease from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, there was a 1.5% decrease in the number of claims.

The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries. Claims data pertain to initial and renewal claims received for any type of EI benefits, which includes special benefits.

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