Following a small decline in September, the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in October edged up 4,600 (+0.9%) to 535,000.
Claims unchanged in October
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 October at 231,700.
Claims increased 6.9% in Saskatchewan and 5.7% in Alberta. At the same time, they fell by 2.1% in Quebec. There was little change in the other provinces.
Slight increase in beneficiaries in five provinces
The number of people receiving regular benefits in October rose slightly in five provinces.
In Alberta, the number of people receiving benefits was up 1.7%, the third increase in four months.
In New Brunswick, the number increased 1.5%, continuing an upward trend that began last May.
The number of beneficiaries rose 1.4% in Ontario, offsetting a decline of similar magnitude the month before.
Manitoba also experienced a 1.4% increase, continuing an upward trend that began last May.
In Quebec, the number of beneficiaries edged up 1.3% in October, the second increase in three months.
The number of beneficiaries fell 1.4% in British Columbia, following a similar decline 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=eng) .
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.statcan.gc.ca/cgi- bin/relocate.cgi?l=E&loc=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 October 7 to 13. 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.