Employment Insurance, October 2012

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Previous release

Following a small decline in September, the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in October edged up 4,600 (+0.9%) to 535,000.

The number of beneficiaries increased slightly in Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec, while it edged down in British Columbia.

Chart 1 
Employment Insurance beneficiaries edge up in October
Chart 1: Employment Insurance beneficiaries edge up in October

Chart description: Employment Insurance beneficiaries edge up in October

CSV version of chart 1

Claims unchanged in October

To receive EI benefits, individuals must first submit a claim. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

Nationally, the number of initial and renewal claims was virtually unchanged in October at 231,700.

Claims increased 6.9% in Saskatchewan and 5.7% in Alberta. At the same time, they fell by 2.1% in Quebec. There was little change in the other provinces.

Chart 2 
Number of claims unchanged nationally in October
Chart 2: Number of claims unchanged nationally in October

Chart description: Number of claims unchanged nationally in October

CSV version of chart 2

Slight increase in beneficiaries in five provinces

The number of people receiving regular benefits in October rose slightly in five provinces.

In Alberta, the number of people receiving benefits was up 1.7%, the third increase in four months.

In New Brunswick, the number increased 1.5%, continuing an upward trend that began last May.

The number of beneficiaries rose 1.4% in Ontario, offsetting a decline of similar magnitude the month before.

Manitoba also experienced a 1.4% increase, continuing an upward trend that began last May.

In Quebec, the number of beneficiaries edged up 1.3% in October, the second increase in three months.

The number of beneficiaries fell 1.4% in British Columbia, following a similar decline in September.

There was virtually no change in the number of beneficiaries for Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

Note to readers

Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits are available to eligible individuals who lose their jobs and who are available for and able to work, but can't find a job. The change in the number of regular beneficiaries reflects various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, people going back to work, and people exhausting their regular benefits.

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

EI statistics are produced from administrative data sources provided by Service Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. These statistics may, from time to time, be affected by changes to the Employment Insurance Act or administrative procedures. A recent example is the pilot project entitled "Working While on Claim," which was introduced on August 5, 2012.

The number of regular beneficiaries and the number of claims received for the current and previous month are subject to revision.

The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all people who received EI benefits from October 7 to 13. This period coincides with the reference week of the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

EI statistics indicate the number of people who received EI benefits, and should not be confused with LFS data, which provide information on the total number of unemployed people.

There is always a certain proportion of unemployed people who do not qualify for benefits. Some unemployed people have not contributed to the program because they have not worked in the past 12 months or their employment is not insured. Other unemployed people have contributed to the program but do not meet the eligibility criteria, such as workers who left their job voluntarily or those who did not accumulate enough hours of work to receive benefits.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table276-0001 to 276-0004, CANSIM table276-0006, CANSIM table276-0009 and CANSIM table276-0011.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number2604.

Data tables are also now available online. From the Key resource module of our website under Summary tables, choose Subject, then Labour.

Data on Employment Insurance for November will be released on January 18, 2013.

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750; vincent.ferrao@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.