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Employment Insurance

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November 2008 (preliminary) (Previous release)

In November, 506,320 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, up 15,300 or 3.1% from October, after seasonal adjustment.

The number of Canadians receiving regular EI benefits rose by 48,700 between November 2007 and November 2008, a 12.3% increase. The number of men receiving benefits increased 17.1%, and the number of women, 6.1%.

The number of regular EI beneficiaries increased in all jurisdictions compared with a year earlier. Ontario (+28.2%), British Columbia (+24.6%), Nunavut (+21.9%) and Yukon (+21.3%) posted the largest year-over-year increases in regular EI beneficiaries.

The number of EI regular beneficiaries increased in most census metropolitan areas in the past year, with the largest year-over-year advances occurring in Oshawa (+99.1%), Windsor (+57.9%) and London (+46.5%).

Note: Employment Insurance Statistics Program data are produced from an administrative data source and may, from time to time, be affected by changes to the Employment Insurance Act or administrative procedures. The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all persons who received Employment Insurance benefits from the 9th to the 15th of November. This coincides with the reference week of the Labour Force Survey for the month of November. The regular benefit payments figure measures the total of all monies paid to individuals during the month. Month-over-month comparisons are made based on seasonally adjusted data, which removes the effects of seasonal variations.

Available on CANSIM: tables 276-0001 to 276-0006, 276-0009, 276-0011, 276-0015 and 276-0016.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2604.

Data on Employment Insurance for December will be released on February 24.

For more information, or to order data, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-873-8788; 613-951-4090; To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Gilles Groleau (613-951-4091), Labour Statistics Division.

Table 1

Employment Insurance statistics
  November 2007 October 2008 November 2008 October to November 2008 November 2007 to November 2008
  Seasonally adjusted
        % change
Regular beneficiaries 453.5 491.0r 506.3p 3.1 11.7
Initial and renewal claims received (thousands) 211.0 237.3r 259.5p 9.4 23.0
All beneficiaries (thousands)1 656.6 635.7p 714.6p    
Regular beneficiaries (thousands) 394.6 374.9p 443.3p   12.3
Men (thousands) 224.6 214.0p 262.9p   17.1
Women (thousands) 170.0 161.0p 180.3p   6.1
Initial and renewal claims received (thousands) 247.5 246.0 304.9    
Payments ($ millions) 1,054.2 1,033.1 1,294.2    
  Year-to-date (January to November)
      2007 2008 2007 to 2008
          % change
Claims received (thousands)     2,332.0 2,427.3 4.1
Payments ($ millions)     13,257.7 13,707.0 3.4
"All beneficiaries" includes all claimants receiving regular benefits (for example, as a result of layoff) or special benefits (for example, as a result of illness) and are representative of data for the Labour Force Survey reference week, which is usually the week containing the 15th day of the month.

Table 2

Number of beneficiaries receiving regular benefits
  November 2008p October to November 2008 November 2007 to November 2008
  Seasonally adjusted
    % change
Canada 506,320 3.1 11.7
Newfoundland and Labrador 36,450 0.7 1.7
Prince Edward Island 8,030 1.5 2.3
Nova Scotia 28,030 1.8 3.1
New Brunswick 29,940 0.6 1.5
Quebec 161,120 3.2 2.1
Ontario 157,910 4.5 28.2
Manitoba 10,770 1.3 15.8
Saskatchewan 8,420 1.2 1.3
Alberta 18,570 7.3 19.0
British Columbia 46,120 4.0 24.6
Yukon 910 4.6 21.3
Northwest Territories 660 3.1 8.2
Nunavut 390 8.3 21.9
The number of beneficiaries includes all claimants who received regular benefits for the Labour Force Survey reference week, usually containing the 15th day of the month.