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Employment Insurance, October 2015

Released: 2015-12-17

In October, 539,700 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down slightly from September (-3,300 or -0.6%).

Provincially, there were fewer EI beneficiaries in Ontario (-1.8%), Quebec (-1.5%), Nova Scotia (-1.5%) and New Brunswick (-1.2%). In Alberta, the number of people receiving EI benefits continued to increase, up 3.1% in October. There was little change in the remaining provinces.

On a year-over-year basis, the total number of EI beneficiaries was up 40,900 or 8.2%.

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: Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries
Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries

Provincial and sub-provincial overview

In Ontario, 145,300 people received EI benefits in October, down 1.8% from September. Most metropolitan areas in the province recorded declines. The number of beneficiaries in Toronto fell by 2.5% to 54,800.

There were 146,900 people receiving benefits in Quebec, down 1.5% from the previous month. The number of EI beneficiaries in Montréal totalled 54,400, down 1.0%. All other metropolitan areas in the province showed decreases, except Gatineau, which saw no change, and Sherbrooke, which posted a 2.1% increase.

The number of EI beneficiaries in Nova Scotia fell by 1.5% to 28,000 in October, offsetting the increase recorded the previous month. Most of the monthly decline came from outside of Halifax, with the largest decrease occurring in Cape Breton.

In New Brunswick, the number of beneficiaries totalled 31,800 in October, down 1.2% from September. Declines were recorded mainly in Saint John (-5.0%) and Moncton (-3.9%).

In contrast, the number of EI recipients in Alberta continued to increase, up 3.1% to 59,800 in October. This was the 14th consecutive monthly increase for the province. Both Edmonton (+3.9%) and Calgary (+3.7%) recorded increases for the month. The number of EI recipients also increased in other areas of the province.

The increase in the number of beneficiaries in Alberta came mostly from people who last worked in business, finance and administrative occupations (+5.2%), processing, manufacturing and utilities (+4.1%), and natural and applied sciences (+3.9%).

While the number of beneficiaries in British Columbia was little changed in October from the previous month, it increased in two of the four metropolitan areas, up 4.3% in Abbotsford–Mission and 1.6% in Vancouver.

There was little change in the number of EI beneficiaries in the other provinces.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

Looking at the occupation distribution of EI beneficiaries, the number of those whose last job was in natural and applied sciences has increased on a year-over-year basis since March 2015, up 17.8% in October. There were also more beneficiaries whose last job was in trades and transport or as equipment operators (+14.8%) as well as in primary industry (+14.2%).

Additionally, there were more beneficiaries among people who last worked in social sciences, education, government services and religion (+8.7%), business, finance and administrative occupations (+3.9%), management (+3.5%) and sales and service (+1.6%). At the same time, there were fewer beneficiaries whose last job was in health (-3.7%) or in art, culture, recreation and sport (-2.2%). There was virtually no change for those who had last worked in processing, manufacturing and utilities.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, October 2014 to October 2015
Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, October 2014 to October 2015

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

None of the major demographic groups saw a noteworthy change in the number of EI recipients in October compared with September. Over the last 12 months, however, an upward trend was seen for male EI beneficiaries in all age groups.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Employment Insurance beneficiaries: Upward trend for men of all age groups
Employment Insurance beneficiaries: Upward trend for men of all age groups

Employment Insurance claims

The number of Employment Insurance claims increased by 1.8% to 238,700 in October, following a 3.0% decline in September. In the 12 months to October, EI claims were up 5.8%, the ninth consecutive year-over-year increase. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

EI claims rose in most provinces from September, with the largest increases in Alberta (+7.6%) and Manitoba (+6.0%). Increases were also recorded in Saskatchewan (+3.6%), Quebec (+2.6%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.2%) and New Brunswick (+1.2%).

On the other hand, British Columbia (-3.1%) and Nova Scotia (-1.7%) registered declines, while Ontario and Prince Edward Island reported little change.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Employment Insurance claims
Employment Insurance claims





  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 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 October 11 to 17. 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.

Geographical definitions

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.

Next release

EI data for November 2015 will be released on January 21, 2016.

Products

More information about the concepts and use of Employment Insurance statistics is available online in the Guide to Employment Insurance Statistics (Catalogue number73-506-G), from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Lahouaria Yssaad (613-951-0627; lahouaria.yssaad@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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