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Canada. Number of EI beneficiaries up

The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits increased by 35,200 (+6.6%) to 568,600 in August, following a decline of similar magnitude in July.

The number of beneficiaries rose in every province, with the largest percentage increases occurring in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

More Employment Insurance beneficiaries in August

Claims up in August

To receive EI benefits, individuals must first submit a claim. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

The number of initial and renewal claims rose for the second consecutive month, up 10,700 (+4.4%) to 255,600 in August. The largest percentage increase occurred in Quebec (+23.6%) as well as Newfoundland and Labrador (+19.8%). This contrasts with Ontario and Alberta, where the number of claims fell by 6.5% and 4.2%, respectively.

Number of claims up for the second consecutive month

More beneficiaries in all provinces

The number of regular beneficiaries was up in all provinces, with the largest percentage increase in Manitoba (+14.1%). There were also marked increases in the number of beneficiaries in Ontario (+8.2%) and Quebec (+6.4%).

The increases in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta follow a period of continuous decline that began nearly a year ago.

Sub-provincial and demographic overview

Employment Insurance data by sub-provincial region, sex and age are not seasonally adjusted and are therefore compared on a year-over-year basis.

Most large centres show year-over-year declines

Between August 2010 and August 2011, the number of people receiving regular benefits nationally fell by 109,700 (-16.0%). Declines occurred in 131 of the 143 large centres (see map). Large centres are those with a population of 10,000 or more.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were fewer beneficiaries in all five large centres. In St. John's, the number fell by 16.2%, extending the trend of monthly year-over-year decreases that began in April 2010. In Grand Falls-Windsor, the number declined 14.4%.

In Nova Scotia, four of the five large centres had fewer beneficiaries in August 2011 compared with August 2010. The most notable percentage decrease was in Halifax, where the number fell 9.4% to 5,800, extending the downward trend that began in March 2010.

In New Brunswick, three of the six large centres had fewer beneficiaries in the 12 months to August, with the fastest pace of decline in Saint John (-13.3%) and Moncton (-12.8%).

The number of beneficiaries fell in 30 of the 33 large centres in Quebec. The largest percentage decrease occurred in the census metropolitan area of Québec (-23.3%). There were similar year-over-year percentage declines in Rouyn-Noranda and Saint-Hyacinthe. In Montréal, there were 19.7% fewer beneficiaries in August 2011 compared with August 2010, continuing the downward trend that began in March 2010.

In Ontario, 38 of the 41 large centres had fewer beneficiaries compared with 12 months earlier, with the largest percentage decrease occurring in Tillsonburg. Other large centres with marked percentage declines in August include Guelph, Chatham-Kent and Thunder Bay. In Toronto, the number fell by 20.0% to 74,100, extending the trend of year-over-year declines that began in March 2010.

In Manitoba, the number of people receiving regular benefits fell in three of the four large centres in the 12 months to August. In Winnipeg, the number of beneficiaries declined by 18.6% to 8,800, the 12th consecutive decrease.

In Saskatchewan, all eight large centres recorded year-over-year declines, with the fastest decrease occurring in Moose Jaw. In Regina, 1,400 people received benefits, down 24.9% from August 2010, extending the trend of monthly year-over-year decreases which started just over a year ago. In Saskatoon, the number of beneficiaries fell 20.2% to 2,600, the ninth consecutive decline.

In Alberta, all 12 large centres had fewer beneficiaries compared with August 2010. In Calgary, the number fell 32.7% to 10,600, while it fell 29.5% to 11,200 in Edmonton. Other large centres with year-over-year declines include Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Cold Lake.

The number of beneficiaries fell in all 25 large centres of British Columbia, with the largest percentage declines occurring in Campbell River, Kamloops, and Powell River. The number of people receiving benefits also fell in Vancouver (-27.5% to 26,400) and in Victoria (-18.4% to 3,300).

Demographic groups

In August, the number of men receiving regular benefits fell by 20.7% from 12 months earlier to 268,700. There were declines of 23.2% among men aged under 25 and 22.6% among those aged 25 to 54. The number of male beneficiaries aged 55 and over decreased 13.5%.

The number of women receiving benefits in August totalled 307,600, down 11.4% from August 2010. The number of beneficiaries decreased 20.1% among women under 25, and fell by 12.4% among those aged 25 to 54. The pace of decline for women 55 and over was slower, at 4.6%.


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