The number of employment insurance beneficiaries in Canada decreasedStaff writer ▼ | June 27, 2016
In April, 538,400 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down slightly from the previous month (-4,900 or -0.9%).
Canadian economy The number of EI beneficiaries decreased in five provinces
There were also fewer beneficiaries in Saskatchewan (-1.7%) and New Brunswick (-1.5%). On the other hand, the number of recipients increased in Alberta (+1.2%) and Prince Edward Island (+1.0%). Little change was observed in the remaining provinces.
On a year-over-year basis, the total number of EI beneficiaries in Canada was up by 12,400 or 2.4%, mainly as a result of increases that occurred early in the summer of 2015.
Changes in the number of regular EI beneficiaries reflect various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, those going back to work and those no longer receiving regular benefits.
In Ontario, 137,600 people received EI benefits in April, down 2.4% from March. There were fewer beneficiaries in 10 of the 15 census metropolitan areas (CMAs), with decreases ranging from 6.4% in Peterborough and Thunder Bay to 1.4% in Greater Sudbury and Hamilton.
Windsor (+5.1%) and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+1.1%) were the only CMAs in Ontario with an increase in beneficiaries.
The number of EI beneficiaries in British Columbia decreased by 2.2% in April to 50,500. Virtually all of the CMAs and some of the census agglomerations (CAs) in the province reported declines, with the largest being in Vancouver (-3.7%) and Kelowna (-3.5%).
The number of recipients in British Columbia has been on a downward trend since August 2015.
Newfoundland and Labrador had fewer people receiving EI benefits in April, down 2.0% from March to 33,100, with the largest decline occurring in areas outside of St. John's and the CAs. On a year-over-year basis, however, the number of beneficiaries in the province increased by 2.7%.
EI beneficiaries in Saskatchewan numbered 16,400 in April, a 1.7% decrease from the previous month. Declines occurred throughout the province, including Regina (-2.4%) and Saskatoon (-1.1%). In the 12 months to April, the number of beneficiaries in Saskatchewan increased by 26.9%.
Fewer EI beneficiaries were reported in New Brunswick, down 1.5% in April to 32,600. Declines were observed throughout the province, including Moncton (-2.1%) and Saint John (-1.5%). On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in New Brunswick was essentially unchanged.
In Alberta, 67,900 people received regular EI benefits in April, up 1.2% from the previous month. Calgary (+1.0%) and areas outside of the CMAs and CAs (+2.9%) had more recipients, while other areas in the province were mostly unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in Alberta increased by 52.2%.
The number of EI beneficiaries in Prince Edward Island rose slightly (+1.0%) in April to 7,800. On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in the province grew by 7.7%.
While the number of EI beneficiaries in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Manitoba was little changed in April, this was not the case for some areas within these provinces.
In Nova Scotia, Halifax (+1.4%) posted an increase. In Quebec, the CMAs of Québec (+1.3%) and Sherbrooke (+1.2%) rose, while Gatineau (-2.5%) declined. At the same time, in Manitoba, the areas outside of Winnipeg and the CAs (-1.1%) had fewer beneficiaries.
In April, there was a slight decrease in the number of EI beneficiaries among men aged 25 to 54 (-1.3%) and women aged 55 and older (-1.0%). The other major demographic groups were unchanged.
In the 12 months to April, there were increases in all major demographic groups, except among women aged 25 to 54, who experienced a decline. The year-over-year gain in recipients was greater among men than women. ■