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September 2003     Vol. 4, no. 9

Seasonal work and Employment Insurance use

Shawn de Raaf, Costa Kapsalis, and Carole Vincent

  • Using a 'mechanical' definition of seasonal work, 4.4% of employees and self-employed fishers were seasonal workers over the 1993-1998 period.
  • More than one-sixth (17.3%) of long-term seasonal workers did not receive EI benefits following any of three seasonal job spells. In total, about 61% of seasonal jobs were followed by EI.
  • Long-term seasonal workers were more likely to be older, male, less educated, living in regions with high unemployment rates, living with a partner, and living in the Atlantic provinces or Quebec.


Adapted from Seasonal employment and reliance on Employment Insurance: evidence from the SLID, published by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), June 2003. Shawn de Raaf and Carole Vincent are with SRDC. Costa Kapsalis is with Data Probe Economic Consulting Inc. The authors can be reached at (613) 951-4628 or

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