EI beneficiaries spike higher in Edmonton and Saskatoon but start to level-off in Calgary
According to Statistics Canada, the number of Canadians collecting Employment Insurance (EI) in September rose 0.6% versus August, to a total of 571,800. That number is 5.1% higher than the same time last year, reflecting recent changes to qualification rules that make it easier for unemployed workers in the energy patch to collect benefits.
Among this month's key highlights:
- Month-over-month, the number of recipients rose 10% in Saskatchewan (up 1,770 recipients), 2.9% in Newfoundland and Labrador (up 1,060) and 1.2% in Ontario (up 1,690).
- Alberta was relatively unchanged for the month, up only 220 (or 0.2%).
- The largest monthly declines in beneficiaries were seen in Quebec, down 2,150 (or 1.5%).
- The hardest hit cities include Edmonton (up 3% for the month, or 840 recipients) and Saskatoon (up 16.4% or 650 recipients).
- There were 220 fewer EI recipients in Calgary in September versus August.
- Outside of the Calgary and Edmonton metropolitan areas, the number of people receiving EI benefits in Alberta rose by 1.9% (or 330 people).
On a more positive note, the number of initial and renewal claims declined in all provinces (except PEI), suggesting the number of EI beneficiaries should begin to level off through the end of this year.