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Employment Insurance, October 2013

Released: 2013-12-19

Following a decline in September, the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits was little changed in October at 510,500. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of beneficiaries fell 8.4%.

Provincially, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan were the only provinces with notable increases in the number of regular EI beneficiaries in October compared with September, while New Brunswick was the lone province to experience a decrease over the same period.

The change in the number of regular EI beneficiaries reflects various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, people going back to work, and people who no longer receive regular benefits.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Little change in the number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries in October - Description and data table
Little change in the number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries in October

Chart 1: Little change in the number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries in October - Description and data table

Provincial and metropolitan area overview

In British Columbia, the number of regular EI beneficiaries rose by 10.1% in October, mostly offsetting the decline in the previous month. All four metropolitan areas in the province experienced increases. The largest percentage rise occurred in Abbotsford–Mission, where the number of beneficiaries rose 41.1% to 3,300. In Vancouver, the number of people receiving benefits totalled 21,900 (+10.8%), partially offsetting the decrease in September.

There were slightly more beneficiaries in Alberta (+1.2%) and Saskatchewan (+1.0%), following notable declines in both provinces in September. In Calgary, the number of beneficiaries rose by 1.8% after two months of declines, while in Edmonton the number fell slightly (-1.3%), following a sharp decrease in September. The number of beneficiaries in Saskatoon increased by 2.9% in October, after five consecutive monthly declines, while in Regina the number fell by 3.3%, marking the sixth consecutive monthly decline.

New Brunswick was the lone province with fewer beneficiaries (-1.7%) in October, offsetting an increase of a similar magnitude the month before. There was little change in the other Atlantic provinces.

Quebec and Ontario also experienced little change in the number of beneficiaries.

In Quebec, four metropolitan areas showed decreases in October, ranging from 1.5% in Trois-Rivières to 3.6% in Sherbrooke. The number of beneficiaries in Montreal declined by 1.7% to 55,400. There was little change in the metropolitan areas of Québec and Saguenay.

In Ontario, three metropolitan areas posted declines, most notably Windsor (-6.1%). At the same time, there were more beneficiaries in four centres, ranging from 1.0% in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo to 11.0% in Barrie. In Toronto, the number of beneficiaries rose slightly (+1.2%) to 58,000.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

In October, there were more beneficiaries in three major occupation groups, led by management (+2.6%). The number of beneficiaries rose slightly in occupations unique to primary industries (+1.3%) and trades, transport and equipment operators (+1.2%). There was little change in the remaining occupation groups.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries was down in all occupation groups, except natural and applied science occupations. The declines ranged from 3.0% in management to 16.3% in health occupations, the group where the number of beneficiaries continues to decrease the fastest. At the same time, the number of regular EI beneficiaries in natural and applied science continued to increase, up 1.5%, albeit at a slower pace than in the preceding six months.

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

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

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

In October, there were more men aged 55 and over receiving regular EI benefits, up 4.9%. For women, the number of beneficiaries increased among 15-to-24 year-olds (+3.6%), following two consecutive months of declines. There was little change for the other groups.

On a year-over-year basis, women in all age groups receiving benefits continued to experience faster rates of decline than men.

Fewer Employment Insurance claims in October

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

Following no change in September, the number of initial and renewal claims fell slightly (-1.7%) in October. Compared with October 2012, claims were down 3.8%.

Provincially, there were fewer claims in eight provinces, notably Saskatchewan (-5.4%) and Manitoba (-4.2%). Prince Edward Island was the only province with an increase in claims, up 3.0%. There was virtually no change in British Columbia.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Fewer Employment Insurance claims in October  - Description and data table
Fewer Employment Insurance claims in October

Chart 3: Fewer Employment Insurance claims in October  - 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.

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 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. 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 October 13 to 19. 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 November will be released on January 23, 2014.

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 Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; vincent.ferrao@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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