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Employment Insurance, July 2013

Released: 2013-09-19

Following little change in June, the number of regular Employment Insurance (EI) beneficiaries fell 2.1% (-10,900) in July to 503,900. This decline brings the number of beneficiaries to a level similar to that observed before the start of the labour-market downturn in 2008. Compared with July 2012, the number of people receiving regular benefits declined 5.7%.

The number of beneficiaries fell in most provinces, with notable declines in Quebec, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Saskatchewan. There were also declines in Nova Scotia, Alberta and New Brunswick, while there was a slight increase in Prince Edward Island. There was little change in Ontario and British Columbia.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Fewer regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries in July - Description and data table
Fewer regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries in July

Chart 1: Fewer regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries in July - Description and data table

Highlights on the provinces and metropolitan areas

The number of regular EI beneficiaries in Quebec fell by 5.0% in July compared with June. All six metropolitan areas of the province experienced declines in the number of people receiving benefits. In Montréal, the number of beneficiaries fell 7.2% to 51,300, following a small increase the previous month.

In Manitoba, the number of people receiving benefits fell by 4.1% in July. In the metropolitan area of Winnipeg, the number of beneficiaries was down 4.7%. This was the third consecutive monthly decline for both the province and Winnipeg.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the number of beneficiaries declined 3.6% after two months of little change. In St. John's, there was little change from the previous month.

The number of people receiving benefits in Saskatchewan fell for the second consecutive month, down 3.6% in July. Both Regina and Saskatoon saw declines in the number of beneficiaries (-6.4% and -1.5% respectively).

Nova Scotia experienced a decline of 3.0% in the number of regular EI beneficiaries in July. In Halifax, the number fell 4.6%, the fourth notable decline in five months.

In Alberta, there were 2.6% fewer beneficiaries in July compared with June. While Edmonton posted a decline of 4.5%, Calgary experienced an increase of 1.8%, the third in four months.

The number of people receiving benefits also fell in New Brunswick, down 2.4% in July. While there was little change in Moncton, the metropolitan area of Saint John saw a decline of 9.2% in the number of beneficiaries, continuing a six-month downward trend.

The number of beneficiaries increased slightly in Prince Edward Island (+1.1%), while there was little change in Ontario and British Columbia.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

The number of beneficiaries fell in three major occupation groups in July compared with June, with the most notable decline in trades, transport and equipment operation (-7.9%). There were also smaller declines in business, finance and administrative occupations (-1.8%) and occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport (-1.2%). In both of these occupation groups, the decline has continued steadily in the last few months. On the other hand, the number of beneficiaries rose 3.6% in primary industry and 9.0% in social science, education, government service and religion, while there was little change in the five remaining occupation groups.

Compared with 12 months earlier, there were fewer beneficiaries in almost all occupation groups. The declines ranged from 3.7% in management to 16.8% in health occupations. At the same time, there was virtually no change in trades, transport and equipment operation, while the number of beneficiaries in natural and applied science occupations was up 10.3% in July—the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases for this group.

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

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

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

In July, the number of regular EI beneficiaries fell 3.3% among men, while there was little change among women overall. Men under 55 years of age experienced the most notable decline, while there was little change for their female counterparts. In contrast, the number of women aged 55 and over receiving benefits increased 2.6% compared with the previous month.

On a year-over-year basis, women aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 54 continued to experience the largest decline in the number of beneficiaries (-13.8% and -10.8% respectively). As for men 15 to 24 and those aged 25 to 54, the rate of decline was similar (-4.4% and -4.6% respectively).

At the same time, the number of women aged 55 and over receiving benefits fell 1.7%, while there was little change for their male counterparts.

More claims in July

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

The number of initial and renewal claims rose for the second consecutive month, up 3.4% to 237,300 in July. Compared with July 2012, however, claims were virtually unchanged.

Almost all provinces saw an increase in the number of claims compared with June, most notably Saskatchewan (+20.9%) and Manitoba (+7.0%), followed by Ontario (+4.7%), British Columbia (+4.6%) and Alberta (+3.3%). Other smaller increases occurred in Nova Scotia, Quebec and New Brunswick. At the same time, there was little change in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Chart 3  Chart 3: More Employment Insurance claims in July  - Description and data table
More Employment Insurance claims in July

Chart 3: More Employment Insurance claims in July  - 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 July 14 to 20. 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 August will be released on October 24.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; 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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