The number of Albertans on EI blows past 2009 highs
Statistics Canada reported a huge jump in the number of Employment Insurance (EI) beneficiaries for the month of July, up a 4.4% from the previous month. The reason? Recent changes to EI qualification levels lowered the threshold for workers in certain parts of the country.
There are over 99,000 EI recipients in the province of Alberta, up 87% from July of 2015 and even surpassing the 2009 highs. Over 33,000 of those recipients are in Calgary and about 30,000 in Edmonton.
In contrast, BC has 56,000 EI recipients, relatively unchanged from the previous year. The number of claimants in Saskatchewan has also risen 40% in the past 12 months, now totalling close to 20,000.
The number of new EI claims across Canada is up a whopping 33.4% from the same time last year. However, StatsCan warns that the number of claims does not correlate to the number of unemployed since the application rules have changed substantially in Alberta, Saskatchewan and northern BC.
The next update on EI claims and recipients for the month of August will be released on October 20, 2016.