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Employment Insurance, July 2014

Released: 2014-09-18

The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in July totalled 499,300, little changed from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of beneficiaries decreased 2.9% or 14,900.

While nine provinces saw decreases in the number of beneficiaries, these declines were offset by an increase in Ontario. Notable declines in July were in British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

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

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

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

Provincial and metropolitan area overview

In British Columbia, the number of beneficiaries fell 6.4% to 49,200 in July, partly offsetting an increase the previous month. All four metropolitan areas in the province had fewer beneficiaries in July, with the declines ranging from 4.8% in Victoria to 11.7% in Abbotsford–Mission. In Vancouver, the number of beneficiaries totalled 20,300 in July, down 5.8% from June.

In July, the number of people receiving benefits in Newfoundland and Labrador fell 6.3% to 29,600, following two months of little change. In St John's, the number of beneficiaries decreased 2.2% to 3,500, marking a third consecutive monthly decline.

In Quebec, the number of beneficiaries fell for the third month in a row in July, down 5.1% to 144,200. Five of the six metropolitan areas in the province had fewer beneficiaries, with declines ranging from 7.2% in Montréal to 10.9% in Trois-Rivières. At the same time, the number of beneficiaries was up 4.2% in the Québec metropolitan area, partly offsetting a decrease the previous month.

Following two months of little change, the number of beneficiaries declined by 5.0% in Saskatchewan to 10,500 in July. Both Regina (-6.7%) and Saskatoon (-3.9%) had fewer beneficiaries. While the decline in Saskatoon partly offset an increase the previous month, the decline in Regina was the third consecutive monthly decrease.

Relatively smaller declines were observed in Prince Edward Island (-4.4%), New Brunswick (-2.6%) and Nova Scotia (-2.1%). In Moncton, the number of beneficiaries fell by 4.1% and Halifax saw a decline of 2.9%.

The western provinces of Alberta (-4.3%) and Manitoba (-4.1%) also had declines in the number of people receiving benefits. All of the metropolitan areas in these provinces saw declines, led by Calgary (-4.3%) and Winnipeg (-3.1%). Edmonton saw a relatively smaller decrease of 2.5%.

The number of people receiving benefits increased 9.1% to 156,100 in Ontario. The increase counterbalanced the declines observed the previous two months. All 15 metropolitan areas had more beneficiaries in July, led by Oshawa (+70.8%) and Peterborough (+29.8%). The increase in Oshawa was concentrated among EI beneficiaries whose most recent occupation was in processing, manufacturing and utilities. The smallest increase was 3.4% in both Ottawa and St. Catharines–Niagara. In Toronto, the number of beneficiaries totalled 59,800 in July, up 8.1%, following three consecutive months of declines.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

In the 12 months to July, the number of beneficiaries among all occupation groups declined 2.9%. There were fewer people receiving benefits in 7 of the 10 major occupation groups, most notably occupations unique to primary industry (-13.3%) as well as sales and service (-6.9%).

At the same time, there were more beneficiaries among people whose last occupation was in trades, transport and equipment operation (+2.1%) and among those whose last occupation was in health (+1.7%). For people in trades, transport and equipment operation, all of the increase in the 12 months to July was among those who had worked in construction trades.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, July 2013 to July 2014 - Description and data table
Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, July 2013 to July 2014

Chart 2: Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, July 2013 to July 2014 - Description and data table

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

In July, the number of beneficiaries among men aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 54 fell for the third month in a row, down 2.0% and 2.2% respectively. There was little change among men aged 55 and over.

In contrast, there were more beneficiaries among women aged 15 to 24 (+5.2%) and women aged 55 and over (+3.9%), while there was little change for women aged 25 to 54.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries continued to fall faster among women and men aged 15 to 24 (-7.8%) than among women and men aged 25 to 54 (-3.8%). At the same time, there were more beneficiaries among men aged 55 and over (+3.3%), the sixth consecutive increase on a year-over-year basis. For women in this age group, the number of beneficiaries was little changed compared with July 2013.

Employment Insurance claims

Claims estimates in June were impacted by where the last day of June 2014 fell in the calendar. Since June 30 was a Monday, some claims which might normally be received in the first week of July were received in June. Therefore, results should be interpreted with caution.

Following the impact of the calendar effect in June when claims rose sharply (+11.4%), the number of EI claims received in Canada fell 8.6% to 229,400 in July. The number of claims declined notably in Manitoba (-34.8%), British Columbia (-16.8%) and Ontario (-15.5%), offsetting most of the increases from the previous month.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Employment Insurance claims return to recent levels in July - Description and data table
Employment Insurance claims return to recent levels in July

Chart 3: Employment Insurance claims return to recent levels in July - Description and data table

Following two consecutive months of increases, there were fewer EI claims in Alberta (-7.8%).

At the same time, the number of claims increased notably in Newfoundland and Labrador, up 17.9% in July.




  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 cannot 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 Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

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.

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 13 to 19. This period coincides with the reference week of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). However, initial and renewal claims data are for the entire month.

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 23.

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 May Roos (613-951-6014; may.roos@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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