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Employment Insurance, June 2015

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Released: 2015-08-20

There were 531,700 people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in June, up 5,200 or 1.0% from May.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of beneficiaries increased by 20,300 (+4.0%).

In Alberta, the number of beneficiaries rose for the eighth consecutive month, up 7.7% in June. Increases were also posted in Saskatchewan (+4.9%) and Manitoba (+3.6%). In contrast, there were fewer beneficiaries in Prince Edward Island (-2.5%), with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick both also showing a small decrease in the number of beneficiaries.

The change in the number of regular EI beneficiaries reflects various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, people going back to work and people no longer receiving regular benefits.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries
Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries

Provincial and sub-provincial overview

There were more EI beneficiaries in Alberta for the eighth month in a row, up 7.7% to 52,200 in June. Over the past 12 months, the number of beneficiaries in the province increased by 22,200 (+73.9%). The largest increases in June came from Albertans whose last job was in natural and applied sciences and related occupations (+13.3%), processing, manufacturing and utilities (+8.5%), and those who last worked in trades, transport or as equipment operators (+8.0%).

Both the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Calgary (+9.2%) and Edmonton (+5.7%) had more beneficiaries in June, marking an eighth consecutive monthly increase. In the rest of Alberta, the number was up 8.3% compared with May.

In Saskatchewan, there were 13,600 beneficiaries in June, up 4.9% from the previous month. Both Saskatoon (+8.9%) and Regina (+5.7%) recorded increases. In the rest of the province, the number of beneficiaries was up 3.4%.

The number of EI beneficiaries in Manitoba rose 3.6% in June to 14,200, with Winnipeg posting an increase of 4.0%.

There were fewer people receiving benefits in Prince Edward Island (-2.5%) in June. The largest declines were in areas outside Charlottetown and Summerside.

In Nova Scotia, 28,200 people received EI benefits in June, down 1.5% from May. The decline came mainly from regions outside Halifax and the province's census agglomerations (CAs).

The number of beneficiaries fell slightly in New Brunswick (-1.1%) to 32,200 in June, with declines outside CMAs and CAs (-2.4%). However, there were more beneficiaries in Moncton (+2.5%).

While there was little change in the number of EI beneficiaries in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, this was not the case in some areas within these provinces.

Of the six metropolitan areas in Quebec, five posted increases in June, ranging from 1.4% in Montréal to 3.0% in Trois-Rivières. There was a 1.0% decline in Gatineau. In regions outside the province's CMAs and CAs, the number of beneficiaries fell 2.1%.

Among the 15 metropolitan areas in Ontario, Windsor posted a 30.8% decrease in the number of beneficiaries, marking a second consecutive monthly decline. Most of this decrease was driven by people who previously worked as assemblers in manufacturing. There were increases in nearly all other CMAs in the province, led by Thunder Bay (+7.7%) and St. Catharines–Niagara (+6.2%).

In British Columbia, the number of beneficiaries declined 2.5% in Abbotsford–Mission and 1.0% in Vancouver. However, there was an increase of 1.5% in Victoria and little change in Kelowna. In the province's CAs, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits rose 1.9%.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the number of beneficiaries rose 2.2% in the CAs, while there was little change in St. John's and the rest of the province.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

Compared with June 2014, there were more EI recipients among workers whose last job was in primary industry (+18.2%), natural and applied sciences (+13.6%) and in trades, transport or as equipment operators (+11.0%). There was also an increase among people who last worked in management (+4.6%).

On the other hand, there were fewer beneficiaries who last worked in art, culture, recreation and sport (-8.5%), sales and service (-7.2%), social science, education, government service and religion (-6.1%), or health occupations (-2.1%).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, June 2014 to June 2015
Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation, percentage change, June 2014 to June 2015

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

The number of young men aged 15 to 24 receiving EI benefits rose for the fifth consecutive month, up 2.6% in June. There were also more men aged 25 to 54 (+1.5%) and young women aged 15 to 24 (+1.0%) receiving benefits in June. The remaining demographic groups saw no notable change compared with May.

On a year-over-year basis, more men in all age groups received benefits (+8.7%). There were also more women aged 15 to 24 (+2.2%) and women aged 55 and older (+1.9%) receiving benefits. In contrast, there were fewer beneficiaries among women aged 25 to 54 (-5.5%).

Employment Insurance claims

Compared with May, the number of employment insurance claims increased by 5.1% to 266,000 in June. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

Claims rose in six provinces, led by Ontario (+19.7%) and British Columbia (+8.0%). Claims also increased in Saskatchewan (+3.3%), Manitoba (+1.8%), New Brunswick (+1.3%) and Alberta (+1.1%).

However, the number of claims fell in Nova Scotia (-13.1%), Quebec (-5.7%), Newfoundland and Labrador (-3.7%) and Prince Edward Island (-2.5%).

Chart 3  Chart 3: Employment Insurance claims
Employment Insurance claims

  Note to readers

Regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits are available to eligible individuals who lose their jobs and who are available for and able to work, but cannot find a job. 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.

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.

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

EI statistics are produced from administrative data sources provided by Service Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada. These statistics may, from time to time, be affected by changes to the Employment Insurance Act or administrative procedures.

The number of regular EI 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 June 14 to 20. This period coincides with the reference week of the Labour Force Survey (LFS). However, initial and renewal claims data are for the entire month.

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.

Claims estimates in June

Claims estimates in June could have been affected by irregular calendar effects. As a consequence, some claims that might normally be received in the first week of July may have been received in late June. Therefore, results should be interpreted with caution and users should focus on trends over longer time periods.

Geographical definitions

A census metropolitan area (CMA) or a census agglomeration (CA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a population centre. A CMA, also referred to as a 'metropolitan area' in this release, must have a total population of at least 100,000. A CA must have a population of at least 10,000. See Standard Geographical Classification 2011 – Definitions for more information.

Next release

Data on Employment Insurance for July will be released on September 17.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Vincent Ferrao (613-951-4750;, Labour Statistics Division.

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