Employment Insurance, December 2014
The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits totalled 495,300 in December, little changed (+0.7%) from the previous month. Compared with December 2013, the number of beneficiaries decreased by 24,500 or 4.7%.
In December, there were more beneficiaries in New Brunswick and Manitoba compared with the previous month. As well, increases were posted in Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Quebec. There was a slight decline in beneficiaries for British Columbia, and little change in all 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.
Provincial and metropolitan area overview
Between November and December, the number of people receiving regular benefits in New Brunswick rose by 3.8% to 32,200. The number of beneficiaries in the province has risen since September 2014, following declines earlier in the year. Every sub-provincial region in New Brunswick had more beneficiaries in December. For example, the number of beneficiaries rose 3.8% in the metropolitan areas of Moncton, while Saint John saw a 3.7% increase. Outside of the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs), the number of beneficiaries rose by 3.6%. See "Geographic definitions" in note to readers.
In Manitoba, 13,300 people received regular benefits in December, up 2.1% from the previous month, driven by a 3.7% increase in Winnipeg. For both Manitoba and Winnipeg, this was the first notable increase since July 2014.
Compared with November, the number of beneficiaries in Alberta rose by 1.9% to 29,700 in December. Edmonton posted a 3.3% increase, while there was no change in Calgary. In regions outside of the CMAs and CAs, the number of beneficiaries increased 2.5%.
In Prince Edward Island, the number of beneficiaries totalled 7,000 in December, up 1.7% from the previous month and the first notable increase since June 2014. The increase in December was in Summerside, as well as among people living outside of the CAs.
In Nova Scotia, there were 25,700 people receiving regular EI benefits in December, up 1.6% from November. There were more beneficiaries in both Halifax (+2.7%) and in the province's CAs (+3.3%). The increase in Halifax followed a downward trend observed since the spring of 2014.
In Quebec, 150,900 people received regular EI benefits in December, up slightly (+1.1%) from the previous month. There were notable increases in two of the six metropolitan areas in the province. Gatineau posted a 1.9% increase, while Saguenay had 1.8% more beneficiaries. This contrasts with Trois-Rivières, where the number of beneficiaries fell 3.6%.
British Columbia was the lone province with fewer beneficiaries in December compared with November, edging down 1.1% to 49,700 people. There were fewer beneficiaries in three of its four metropolitan areas, most notably in Abbottsford–Mission (-8.9%). Smaller percentage declines were posted in Victoria (-2.3%) and Vancouver (-1.5%), while there was little change in Kelowna.
While Ontario and Saskatchewan saw little change in the number of beneficiaries between November and December, this was not the case in some areas within these provinces.
Of the 15 metropolitan areas in Ontario, 5 had more beneficiaries, with the largest percentage increases in Barrie (+2.7%), Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+2.3%) and Windsor (+2.3%). At the same time, St. Catharines–Niagara posted a 2.3% decrease.
In Saskatchewan, the number of beneficiaries edged up in Saskatoon (+1.0%), while there was no change in Regina.
Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation
In the 12 months to December, the number of beneficiaries in all occupation groups, based on EI recipients' last occupation, declined by 4.7%. There were fewer people receiving benefits in 9 of the 10 major occupation groups, most notably in occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities (-8.0%).
People whose last occupation was in social science, education, government service and religion saw no change in the number of beneficiaries.
Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups
Compared with November, the number of regular beneficiaries increased among men aged 25 to 54 (+2.5%) and declined slightly (-1.1%) for women in the same age group.
For men aged 15 to 24, the number of beneficiaries fell 1.5% in December, while there was a slight increase (+1.0%) in the number of men aged 55 and over receiving benefits. At the same time, there was virtually no change in the number of women in both age groups receiving benefits.
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, down 9.0% for men and 8.7% for women. Over the same period, the number of beneficiaries among women aged 25 to 54 fell by 5.9%, a faster rate of decline than the 5.2% decrease observed for men in the same age group. Among people aged 55 and older, men (-1.1%) posted a slight decline while there was virtually no change for women.
Employment Insurance claims
Nationally, the number of EI claims declined 2.6% in December compared with November. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.
Provincially, claims fell in Quebec (-6.1%), Manitoba (-3.0%) and Alberta (-2.1%). There were smaller declines in Saskatchewan (-1.8%), British Columbia (-1.5%), Ontario (-1.4%) and Prince Edward Island (-1.3%).
However, the number of claims increased in New Brunswick, (+4.1%) as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador (+1.5%). There was virtually no change in Nova Scotia.
Beneficiaries receiving regular income benefits by province and territory, sex and age – Seasonally adjusted
Beneficiaries receiving regular income benefits by census metropolitan category – Seasonally adjusted
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 December 7 to 13. 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.
A census metropolitan area (CMA) or a census agglomeration (CA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a population centre. A CMA, also referred to as a 'metropolitan area' in this release, must have a total population of at least 100,000. A CA must have a population of at least 10,000. See Standard Geographical Classification 2011–definitions for more information.
Data on Employment Insurance for January will be released on March 26.
For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; firstname.lastname@example.org).
To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; email@example.com), Labour Statistics Division.
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