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Employment Insurance, September 2014

Released: 2014-11-20

The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in September was 494,400, little changed from the previous month. Compared with September 2013, the number of beneficiaries decreased by 18,000 or 3.5%.

Ontario was the only province with a notable decline in September, while there were more people receiving regular benefits in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Manitoba. There was little or no change in the other provinces.

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: The number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries little changed in September - Description and data table
The number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries little changed in September

Chart 1: The number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries little changed in September - Description and data table

Provincial and metropolitan area overview

In Ontario, the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits fell for the second month in a row, down 6.3% to 139,500 in September. Among the 15 metropolitan areas in the province, 13 posted decreases in the number of beneficiaries, ranging from declines of 1.0% in Ottawa to 40.2% in Oshawa. The decrease in Oshawa was mainly among people whose most recent occupation was in processing, manufacturing and utilities, offsetting the increase posted for this group back in July. At the same time, there was little or no change in the metropolitan areas of Kingston and St. Catharines–Niagara. The number of beneficiaries in Toronto fell 5.7% to 53,500.

Following two consecutive monthly declines, the number of beneficiaries in British Columbia increased 2.6% to 52,500 in September. There were fewer people receiving benefits in Abbotsford–Mission and Victoria, while there was little change in Kelowna. In Vancouver, the number of beneficiaries rose slightly (+1.1%) to 21,300.

In September, the number of beneficiaries rose 2.4% in Saskatchewan, following declines in the previous two months. Both Saskatoon (+3.0%) and Regina (+2.3%) posted increases.

In Quebec, the number of beneficiaries rose 2.1% to 150,600. All six metropolitan areas in the province recorded increases, ranging from 1.8% in Saguenay to 4.6% in Sherbrooke. The number of people receiving regular benefits in Montréal increased 3.2% to 56,400.

In Manitoba, the number of regular EI beneficiaries increased slightly (+1.3%) in September, following a decline in August. In Winnipeg, the number of beneficiaries was up slightly in September (+1.4%), following a notable decline in August.

While the other provinces saw little or no change in the number of beneficiaries, this was not the case in some of the metropolitan areas within those provinces.

In Alberta, 28,800 people received regular benefits in September, with Calgary posting an increase of 2.4%. At the same time, there was little change in Edmonton.

In September, the number of people receiving benefits in Newfoundland and Labrador was 30,600. In St. John's, the number of beneficiaries decreased 10.7%, continuing a downward trend that began in April.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

In the 12 months to September, the number of beneficiaries in all occupation groups declined by 3.5%. There were fewer people receiving benefits in 8 of the 10 major occupation groups, most notably occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities (-9.2%), primary industry (-7.6%), as well as business, finance and administrative occupations (-5.6%).

At the same time, there were more beneficiaries among people whose last occupation was in social science, education, government and religion (+5.2%). The number of beneficiaries whose last occupation was in health was unchanged.

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

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

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

In September, the number of beneficiaries declined among women aged 15 to 24 (-4.9%) and men aged 55 and older (-1.8%), while there was little change among the other age groups.

On a year-over-year basis, the fastest rate of decline in the number of beneficiaries continued to be among people aged 15 to 24 (-7.6% for both men and women). Over the same period, the number of beneficiaries among men aged 25 to 54 fell by 5.5%, a faster rate of decline than the 3.8% decrease observed for women in the same age group. In contrast, among those aged 55 and older, both women (+2.9%) and men (+2.4%) showed increases.

Employment Insurance claims

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

Nationally, there were slightly more Employment Insurance claims in September compared with August, up 1.4% to 224,400.

Provincially, claims increased notably in Alberta (+9.4%) and Manitoba (+6.0%). There were also more claims in Saskatchewan (+4.0%), New Brunswick (+3.9%) and Nova Scotia (+1.6%).

At the same time, there was a decline in Newfoundland and Labrador (-3.6%), while there was little or no change in the other provinces.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Slightly more Employment Insurance claims in September - Description and data table
Slightly more Employment Insurance claims in September

Chart 3: Slightly more Employment Insurance claims in September - Description and data table



  Note to readers

With the December 18 release of October data, Employment Insurance (EI) statistics will be based on the Census 2011 geography. In addition, seasonally adjusted series will be revised to reflect the most recent seasonal factors. To ensure that the data are comparable across time, all EI data series will be revised historically back to January 1997.

In particular, CANSIM tables 276-0030, 276-0031 and 276-0032 will be terminated and replaced by tables 276-0033, 276-0034 and 276-0035. CANSIM tables 276-0005, 276-0015 and 276-0016 covering benefit payments and number of weeks paid will be terminated and data will be updated in two new tables: 276-0017 and 276-0018.

Note to readers

Regular 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 September 14 to 20. 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 October will be released on December 18.

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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