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Employment Insurance, June 2013

Released: 2013-08-22

Following a notable decline in May, the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in June edged up (+4,500 or +0.9%) to 512,300. The number of beneficiaries has, most recently, been trending downward. Compared with June 2012, the number of people receiving regular benefits declined 6.4%.

Alberta, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador saw increases in the number of beneficiaries, while Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island posted declines. There was little change in the other provinces.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries edges up in June - Description and data table
Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries edges up in June

Chart 1: Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries edges up in June - Description and data table

Highlights on the provinces and metropolitan areas

The number of beneficiaries in Alberta increased by 4.0% in June, offsetting a decline the previous month. Both Edmonton (+6.4%) and Calgary (+1.7%) saw increases in the number of people receiving benefits. Overall, however, the number of beneficiaries in the two metropolitan areas has been stable since last summer.

After seven consecutive months of declines, the number of beneficiaries in Quebec rose 2.1% in June. There were more people receiving benefits in all six metropolitan areas of the province, with the increases ranging from 1.2% in Québec to 3.1% in Saguenay. In Montréal, the number of beneficiaries rose 2.5% to 56,200, following four months of little change.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the number of people receiving benefits increased 1.0% in June compared with May. In the metropolitan area of St. John's, the number of beneficiaries was little changed.

For the second month in a row, Manitoba had fewer beneficiaries in June (-2.5%). In the metropolitan area of Winnipeg, the number of people receiving regular benefits fell 1.0% from the previous month, marking the second consecutive monthly decline.

There were fewer beneficiaries in Saskatchewan, down 2.4% in June and the second consecutive monthly decline for the province. In Saskatoon, the number of people receiving benefits fell 1.5%, while there was little change in Regina.

The number of people receiving benefits in Prince Edward Island decreased by 1.9% in June, following a notable decline the previous month and continuing a seven-month downward trend.

After a marked decline in May, the number of beneficiaries in Ontario was little changed in June. In the metropolitan area of Toronto, there were 59,400 people receiving benefits, little changed from the previous month and well below the levels recorded in the summer of 2012.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

Of the 10 major occupation groups, 3 posted increases in the number of beneficiaries in June compared with May. Occupations unique to primary industry showed the largest increase (+5.0%), followed by natural and applied science occupations (+4.5%). In both of these occupation groups, the increase in June occurred after two consecutive monthly declines. The number of beneficiaries also rose in trades, transport and equipment operation occupations (+2.0%). On the other hand, 4 occupation groups posted declines ranging from 1.2% in business, finance and administrative occupations, to 2.8% in health. The monthly decline in health occupations was the eighth in a row.

In June, 3 occupation groups posted little change: management; sales and service as well as occupations in processing, manufacturing and utilities.

On a year-over-year basis, there were fewer beneficiaries in all but one occupation group. The declines ranged from 1.1% in trades, transport and equipment operation occupations, to 19.4% in social science, education, government service and religion. At the same time, the number of beneficiaries in natural and applied science occupations was up 8.2% in June, the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year increases for this group.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, June 2012 to June 2013  - Description and data table
Number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, June 2012 to June 2013 

Chart 2: Number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, June 2012 to June 2013  - Description and data table

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

In June, there were more beneficiaries among men of all age groups. The most notable increase (+3.1%) occurred among those aged 15 to 24, followed by men aged 25 to 54 (+1.9%) and those 55 and over (+1.0%). At the same time, the number of women aged 15 to 24 receiving regular benefits was down 1.0%, the fourth consecutive monthly decline. There was little change among women in the other age groups.

On a year-over-year basis, women aged 15 to 24 and those aged 25 to 54 continued to experience the largest decline in the number of beneficiaries (-15.3% and -10.5% respectively). As for men 15 to 24 and those aged 25 to 54, the rate of decline was identical (-5.3%).

At the same time, the number of women aged 55 and over receiving benefits fell by 5.0%, while there was virtually no change for men in the same age group. Among all major demographic groups, men 55 and over have had the slowest year-over-year decline during the last few months.

Claims little changed in June

The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

Following a decline in May, the number of initial and renewal claims was little changed in June, at 227,100. However, claims were down 3.3% compared with June 2012.

Provincially, claims rose by 3.4% in Prince Edward Island and 2.6% in British Columbia. There were also increases of 1.9% in Quebec and 1.1% in New Brunswick. At the same time, claims fell for the second consecutive month in Manitoba, down 3.4% in June. There was little or no change in the other provinces.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Employment Insurance claims little changed in June  - Description and data table
Employment Insurance claims little changed in June

Chart 3: Employment Insurance claims little changed in June  - Description and data table



  Note to readers

Regular Employment Insurance (EI) 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. 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 change in the number of regular EI beneficiaries reflects various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, people going back to work, and people exhausting their regular benefits.

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.

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

EI statistics are produced from administrative data sources provided by Service Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada. These statistics may, from time to time, be affected by changes to the Employment Insurance Act or administrative procedures. Recent examples are the pilot project entitled "Working While on Claim," introduced on August 5, 2012, and the regulation on search for suitable employment, that came into effect on January 6, 2013.

The number of regular EI 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 June 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.

Data tables are also now available online. From the Browse by key resource module of our website under Summary tables, choose Subject, then Labour.

Data on Employment Insurance for July will be released on September 27.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Lahouaria Yssaad (613-951-0627; lahouaria.yssaad@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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