Following an increase in August, the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in September declined slightly, by 5,700 (-1.1%), to 525,900.
The number of beneficiaries edged down in Quebec, British Columbia and New Brunswick, while it rose slightly in Manitoba.
Claims unchanged in September
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.
Nationally, the number of initial and renewal claims was virtually unchanged in September at 230,300.
The situation varied among the provinces. Claims increased 11.5% in Prince Edward Island, 9.4% in Alberta, 5.1% in Manitoba and 4.7% in Ontario. There were smaller increases of 2.7% in New Brunswick and 2.5% in British Columbia.
At the same time, claims fell 3.8% in Saskatchewan and 3.0% in Quebec. There was little change in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Small decrease in beneficiaries in a number of provinces
The number of people receiving regular EI benefits declined slightly in September in a number of provinces. In Quebec, the number decreased 1.6%, following a notable increase of 6.2% the month before.
There were smaller declines in the number of beneficiaries in British Columbia (-1.1%) and New Brunswick (-1.0%). The number of people receiving benefits in British Columbia has held fairly steady since April, while, in New Brunswick, it was on an upward trend over the same period.
In September, the number of beneficiaries rose slightly in Manitoba, continuing an upward trend that began last April. There was little change in the other provinces in September.
Note to readers
Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits are available to eligible individuals who lose their jobs and who are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job. The change in the number of regular beneficiaries reflects various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, people going back to work, and people exhausting their regular benefits.
All data in this release are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends (http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/colc-cel?catno=11-010- X201000311141&lang=fra) .
EI statistics are produced from administrative data sources provided by Service Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. These statistics may, from time to time, be affected by changes to the Employment Insurance Act or administrative procedures. A recent example is the pilot project entitled “Working While on Claim (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/information/wwc.shtml),” which was introduced on August 5, 2012.
The number of regular beneficiaries and the number of claims received for the current and previous month are subject to revision.
The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all people who received EI benefits from September 9 to 15. This period coincides with the reference week of the Labour Force Survey (LFS).
EI statistics indicate the number of people who received EI benefits, and should not be confused with LFS data, which provide information on the total number of unemployed people.
There is always a certain proportion of unemployed people who do not qualify for benefits. Some unemployed people have not contributed to the program because they have not worked in the past 12 months or their employment is not insured. Other unemployed people have contributed to the program but do not meet the eligibility criteria, such as workers who left their job voluntarily or those who did not accumulate enough hours of work to receive benefits.