EI recipients continue to rise in Alberta & Saskatchewan but news claims start to level off
Statistics Canada reported that 548,700 Canadians received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in February, up 0.8% from January and up 6.7% year/year.
Saskatchewan saw the biggest increase (+3.5%), followed by Alberta (+2.4%). Some of the hardest hit cities remain Calgary (+2.5%), Kelowna (+2.5%) and Saint John, NB (+3.8). The number of EI recipients in Edmonton grew 1.4%.
In contrast, the total number of new claims declined 4.5% across the country, led by drops in BC (-10.2%), Manitoba (-5.2%), NL (-5.2%) and Saskatchewan (-3.6%). The number of new claims in Alberta was unchanged from the previous month. It's unclear whether the recent change in the EI program for Alberta and Saskatchewan are to blame for the increase.