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November 2009 (Previous release)

The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits declined 7,300 to 795,900 in November, with Quebec and British Columbia recording the largest decreases.

The number of people receiving Employment Insurance benefits edges down in November

The number of regular EI beneficiaries peaked in June at 829,300. Since then, it has declined slightly. This is in contrast with the trend from October 2008 to June 2009, when monthly increases averaged 41,100 people.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits was higher in November 2009 in all census metropolitan areas (CMAs) (see map). The pace of increase, however, has slowed. Over that period, the number of regular beneficiaries more than doubled in five CMAs: Calgary, Edmonton, Greater Sudbury, Saskatoon and Vancouver. In comparison, the number of beneficiaries had doubled in 14 CMAs in the 12-month period ending in June 2009.

The number of initial and renewal claims received in November amounted to 270,700, up slightly (+1,300 or +0.5%) from the previous month. Increases in Ontario and Alberta were mostly offset by decreases in Quebec and British Columbia. Despite this small increase, the number of EI claims received has been on a downward trend since peaking at 327,700 in May 2009, with declines in every province.

Note to readers

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified.

Each month, Statistics Canada provides enhanced analysis of the current labour market situation, using Employment Insurance (EI) statistics and other sources. Earlier in January 2010, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) provided a picture of overall labour market conditions, including unemployment, total employment and those affected by changes in the labour market. In this release, Statistics Canada provides additional sub-provincial detail through the EI statistics. Details by industry will follow with data from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours.

EI statistics are produced from an administrative data source from 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. The number of regular beneficiaries and the number of claims received for October and November 2009 are preliminary.

The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all persons who received EI benefits from the 8th to the 14th of November. This period coincides with the reference week of the LFS for November.

EI statistics indicate the number of people who received EI benefits, and should not be confused with data coming from the LFS, which provides 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.

The change in the number of regular EI beneficiaries is the reflection of various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, and people leaving the EI system, either to go back to work or because they have exhausted their weeks of benefits.

The data on employment used in this analysis are drawn from the LFS.

The number of claims received has been trending down since the peak in May 2009

Number of beneficiaries down in most provinces

In November, the number of regular EI beneficiaries declined in seven provinces, with the largest declines in Quebec and British Columbia.

Quebec posted back-to-back declines, bringing the number of people on EI to 203,000. The number of beneficiaries was down 3,700 in November, after a decrease of 3,300 in October.

In British Columbia, the number of regular beneficiaries also declined for the second consecutive month (-1,200 in October and -2,100 in November). This brought the number of beneficiaries down to 94,300 in November.

The number of EI beneficiaries was up in Alberta for the third time in as many months, although the increase in November (+1,100) was smaller than those of the previous two months.

In Ontario, the number of EI beneficiaries was virtually unchanged over the last two months.

Sub-provincial and demographic overview

Number of EI beneficiaries slows in most large centres

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

The number of beneficiaries increased in most large centres, but at a slower pace than in recent months. Large centres are agglomerations with population greater than 10,000.

From November 2008 to November 2009, Montréal posted the largest year-over-year increase in the province of Quebec, as the number of beneficiaries rose 40.8% to 63,100, a slightly slower pace than in previous months. The number of beneficiaries also rose at a slower pace in Québec (CMA), up 21.8% to 8,900.

The number of beneficiaries declined in 7 of 33 large centres in Quebec.

In Ontario, the number of EI recipients more than doubled in 3 of its 41 large centres, namely Greater Sudbury, Collingwood and Orillia. This contrasts with year-over-year increases ending in June, when the number of beneficiaries more than doubled in 26 of the large centres in the province.

In Greater Sudbury, the number of people receiving benefits rose from 1,800 to 4,300. This year-over-year increase coincided with a decline in employment, particularly in the natural resources sector.

The number of EI recipients in Toronto rose from 49,300 to 84,800 (+72.2%), the slowest year-over-year increase in nine months.

In British Columbia, the number of beneficiaries increased in all large centres, albeit generally at a slower pace than in previous months. The fastest year-over-year percentage increases were in Fort St. John, Cranbrook and Vancouver. In Vancouver, the number of people receiving regular benefits doubled to 33,600, while it nearly doubled to 4,000 in Victoria. Employment losses over the period in British Columbia were mainly in manufacturing and construction.

In Alberta, the number of beneficiaries at least doubled in all large centres. The fastest year-over-year percentage increases were in Camrose, Grande Prairie, Brooks and Calgary. In Calgary, the number of people receiving regular benefits increased sharply from 4,600 to 18,700, while the number in Edmonton rose from 4,900 to 15,600. These steep increases coincided with year-over-year employment losses for the province in manufacturing; natural resources; retail and wholesale trade; and professional, scientific and technical services.

In Saskatoon, the number of beneficiaries doubled from 900 to 1,800 people.

Increase in number of beneficiaries slows for men and women in all age groups

While there were more beneficiaries in November 2009 than in November 2008, the pace of increase has slowed in recent months for both men and women in all age groups.

In November, the fastest year-over-year increase in the number of EI beneficiaries continued to be among people under 25 years old. The number of young men receiving regular benefits rose 56.8% to 45,800, less than half the pace recorded five months earlier. Among adult men aged 25 to 54, the number of beneficiaries rose 49.7% to 278,100, half the pace recorded five months earlier.

Over the same period, the number of women under the age of 25 receiving benefits increased by 52.8% to 19,900, while for women aged 25 to 54, it increased 34.4% to 184,100.

Available on CANSIM: tables 276-0001 to 276-0006, 276-0009, 276-0011, 276-0015 and 276-0016.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2604.

Data tables are also now available online. From the Subject module of our website, choose Labour.

Data on Employment Insurance for December will be released on February 19.

A set of maps, Employment Insurance Statistics Maps, November 2009 (73-002-X, free), is now available online. The maps show percent changes in the number of people receiving regular EI benefits for all census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations in Canada. From the Key resource module of our website, under Publications, choose All subjects, then Labour.

For more information, or to order data, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-873-8788; 613-951-4090; labour@statcan.gc.ca). To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Dominique Pérusse (613-951-4064) or Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750), Labour Statistics Division.

Table 1

Employment Insurance: Statistics by province and territory
  October 2009p November 2009p October to November 2009 November 2008 to November 2009 October to November 2009 November 2008 to November 2009
  Seasonally adjusted
  number change in number % change
Beneficiaries receiving regular benefits            
Canada 803,270 795,940 -7,330 273,330 -0.9 52.3
Newfoundland and Labrador 41,870 40,550 -1,320 3,750 -3.2 10.2
Prince Edward Island 9,390 8,730 -660 670 -7.0 8.3
Nova Scotia 34,830 34,470 -360 5,930 -1.0 20.8
New Brunswick 36,700 36,640 -60 6,200 -0.2 20.4
Quebec 206,690 202,970 -3,720 37,910 -1.8 23.0
Ontario 275,090 274,550 -540 109,420 -0.2 66.3
Manitoba 16,920 17,180 260 6,000 1.5 53.7
Saskatchewan 14,400 14,400 0 5,690 0.0 65.3
Alberta 74,140 75,300 1,160 55,190 1.6 274.4
British Columbia 96,400 94,330 -2,070 45,580 -2.1 93.5
Yukon 1,030 1,080 50 150 4.9 16.1
Northwest Territories 920 940 20 260 2.2 38.2
Nunavut 510 510 0 100 0.0 24.4
Initial and renewal claims received            
Canada 269,380 270,700 1,320 10,750 0.5 4.1
Newfoundland and Labrador 9,200 9,460 260 -30 2.8 -0.3
Prince Edward Island 2,550 2,560 10 30 0.4 1.2
Nova Scotia 10,160 10,080 -80 -20 -0.8 -0.2
New Brunswick 10,180 10,270 90 330 0.9 3.3
Quebec 77,780 73,560 -4,220 -1,350 -5.4 -1.8
Ontario 86,650 93,260 6,610 670 7.6 0.7
Manitoba 8,720 8,890 170 1,890 1.9 27.0
Saskatchewan 6,600 6,260 -340 1,180 -5.2 23.2
Alberta 25,380 26,390 1,010 8,730 4.0 49.4
British Columbia 33,290 32,650 -640 1,460 -1.9 4.7
Yukon 330 320 -10 30 -3.0 10.3
Northwest Territories 350 360 10 60 2.9 20.0
Nunavut 200 180 -20 10 -10.0 5.9
preliminary
Note(s):
The number of beneficiaries receiving regular benefits excludes claimants receiving training, job creation and self-employment benefits as well as other employment and support measures benefits.

Table 2

Beneficiaries receiving regular benefits by age group, sex, province and territory
  November 2008 November 2009p November 2008 to November 2009 November 2008 to November 2009
  Unadjusted for seasonality
  number change in number % change
Canada        
Both sexes 449,990 649,190 199,200 44.3
Under 25 years 42,200 65,650 23,450 55.6
25 to 54 years 322,830 462,200 139,370 43.2
55 years and over 84,960 121,340 36,380 42.8
Men 267,170 399,490 132,320 49.5
Under 25 years 29,190 45,770 16,580 56.8
25 to 54 years 185,820 278,120 92,300 49.7
55 years and over 52,150 75,600 23,450 45.0
Women 182,830 249,710 66,880 36.6
Under 25 years 13,010 19,880 6,870 52.8
25 to 54 years 137,010 184,080 47,070 34.4
55 years and over 32,810 45,750 12,940 39.4
Newfoundland and Labrador        
Both sexes 33,920 36,640 2,720 8.0
Under 25 years 3,060 3,550 490 16.0
25 to 54 years 23,290 24,590 1,300 5.6
55 years and over 7,570 8,500 930 12.3
Men 18,800 21,300 2,500 13.3
Women 15,120 15,340 220 1.5
Prince Edward Island        
Both sexes 7,760 8,270 510 6.6
Under 25 years 720 820 100 13.9
25 to 54 years 5,160 5,400 240 4.7
55 years and over 1,890 2,050 160 8.5
Men 4,430 4,630 200 4.5
Women 3,340 3,640 300 9.0
Nova Scotia        
Both sexes 26,200 30,920 4,720 18.0
Under 25 years 2,710 3,300 590 21.8
25 to 54 years 18,410 21,510 3,100 16.8
55 years and over 5,080 6,100 1,020 20.1
Men 15,770 18,970 3,200 20.3
Women 10,430 11,950 1,520 14.6
New Brunswick        
Both sexes 26,730 31,150 4,420 16.5
Under 25 years 2,210 2,700 490 22.2
25 to 54 years 18,720 21,350 2,630 14.0
55 years and over 5,810 7,100 1,290 22.2
Men 16,390 19,410 3,020 18.4
Women 10,350 11,740 1,390 13.4
Quebec        
Both sexes 144,900 171,200 26,300 18.2
Under 25 years 14,950 17,820 2,870 19.2
25 to 54 years 101,860 119,020 17,160 16.8
55 years and over 28,090 34,370 6,280 22.4
Men 87,510 105,110 17,600 20.1
Women 57,390 66,090 8,700 15.2
Ontario        
Both sexes 130,490 207,040 76,550 58.7
Under 25 years 10,930 18,750 7,820 71.5
25 to 54 years 98,440 153,480 55,040 55.9
55 years and over 21,120 34,820 13,700 64.9
Men 77,460 126,140 48,680 62.8
Women 53,030 80,900 27,870 52.6
preliminary
Note(s):
The number of beneficiaries receiving regular benefits excludes claimants receiving training, job creation and self-employment benefits as well as other employment and support measures benefits.

Table 3

Beneficiaries receiving regular benefits by age group, sex, province and territory
  November 2008 November 2009p November 2008 to November 2009 November 2008 to November 2009
  Unadjusted for seasonality
  number change in number % change
Manitoba        
Both sexes 8,970 13,290 4,320 48.2
Under 25 years 970 1,600 630 64.9
25 to 54 years 6,390 9,420 3,030 47.4
55 years and over 1,610 2,270 660 41.0
Men 5,740 8,800 3,060 53.3
Women 3,230 4,490 1,260 39.0
Saskatchewan        
Both sexes 6,990 10,910 3,920 56.1
Under 25 years 630 1,290 660 104.8
25 to 54 years 4,900 7,550 2,650 54.1
55 years and over 1,470 2,070 600 40.8
Men 4,410 7,350 2,940 66.7
Women 2,590 3,560 970 37.5
Alberta        
Both sexes 16,550 56,310 39,760 240.2
Under 25 years 1,430 6,360 4,930 344.8
25 to 54 years 12,080 41,230 29,150 241.3
55 years and over 3,040 8,720 5,680 186.8
Men 9,130 36,430 27,300 299.0
Women 7,430 19,880 12,450 167.6
British Columbia        
Both sexes 45,290 80,790 35,500 78.4
Under 25 years 4,440 9,200 4,760 107.2
25 to 54 years 31,910 56,690 24,780 77.7
55 years and over 8,940 14,900 5,960 66.7
Men 26,210 49,620 23,410 89.3
Women 19,080 31,170 12,090 63.4
Yukon        
Both sexes 950 1,100 150 15.8
Under 25 years 70 110 40 57.1
25 to 54 years 670 730 60 9.0
55 years and over 210 260 50 23.8
Men 570 690 120 21.1
Women 380 410 30 7.9
Northwest Territories        
Both sexes 710 950 240 33.8
Under 25 years 60 100 40 66.7
25 to 54 years 550 730 180 32.7
55 years and over 100 130 30 30.0
Men 470 640 170 36.2
Women 250 310 60 24.0
Nunavut        
Both sexes 370 460 90 24.3
Under 25 years 30 60 30 100.0
25 to 54 years 310 350 40 12.9
55 years and over 30 50 20 66.7
Men 250 320 70 28.0
Women 120 140 20 16.7
preliminary
Note(s):
The number of beneficiaries receiving regular benefits excludes claimants receiving training, job creation and self-employment benefits as well as other employment and support measures benefits.

Table 4

Beneficiaries receiving regular benefits by census metropolitan areas
  November 2008 November 2009p November 2008 to November 2009 November 2008 to November 2009
  Unadjusted for seasonality
  number change in number % change
Newfoundland and Labrador        
St. John's 3,740 4,700 960 25.7
Nova Scotia        
Halifax 3,900 5,310 1,410 36.2
New Brunswick        
Saint John 1,290 2,080 790 61.2
Quebec        
Saguenay 4,100 4,210 110 2.7
Québec 7,330 8,930 1,600 21.8
Sherbrooke 2,340 2,860 520 22.2
Trois-Rivières 3,150 3,360 210 6.7
Montréal 44,810 63,090 18,280 40.8
Ottawa–Gatineau, Gatineau part 2,200 2,860 660 30.0
Ontario        
Ottawa–Gatineau, Ottawa part 4,640 7,260 2,620 56.5
Kingston 940 1,490 550 58.5
Oshawa 4,250 6,000 1,750 41.2
Toronto 49,260 84,840 35,580 72.2
Hamilton 5,570 10,170 4,600 82.6
St. Catharines–Niagara 5,080 8,400 3,320 65.4
Kitchener 4,820 8,230 3,410 70.7
London 5,480 7,130 1,650 30.1
Windsor 5,260 6,390 1,130 21.5
Greater Sudbury 1,820 4,310 2,490 136.8
Thunder Bay 1,410 1,970 560 39.7
Manitoba        
Winnipeg 3,960 7,030 3,070 77.5
Saskatchewan        
Regina 760 1,360 600 78.9
Saskatoon 890 1,790 900 101.1
Alberta        
Calgary 4,630 18,680 14,050 303.5
Edmonton 4,940 15,620 10,680 216.2
British Columbia        
Abbotsford–Mission 2,440 4,140 1,700 69.7
Vancouver 16,780 33,570 16,790 100.1
Victoria 2,050 4,040 1,990 97.1
preliminary
Note(s):
The number of beneficiaries receiving regular benefits excludes claimants receiving training, job creation and self-employment benefits as well as other employment and support measures benefits.