The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Employment Insurance, September 2015

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Released: 2015-11-19

In September, 6,100 more people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits compared with August, up 1.1% to 543,800. On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI beneficiaries rose by 41,600 or 8.3%.

Most of the increase in September came from Alberta, where the number of beneficiaries increased 9.1%. Smaller increases were recorded in Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.2%) as well as Nova Scotia (+2.1%).

Over the same period, the number of beneficiaries declined in Prince Edward Island (-1.1%), while the remaining provinces reported little change.

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

In Alberta, the number of people receiving EI benefits increased by 9.1% in September to 58,000. The largest increases came from persons who last worked in trades, transport and equipment operations (+13.3%), and in business, finance and administrative occupations (+10.4%). Both the metropolitan areas of Calgary (+7.7%) and Edmonton (+5.3%) reported increases for the month.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, 32,600 people received EI benefits, up 2.2% from August. Increases were reported throughout the province, led by the metropolitan area of St. John's (+2.7%) as well as areas outside of the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs) (+2.3%).

Nova Scotia reported a 2.1% increase in the number of beneficiaries to 28,600 in September, offsetting the declines reported over the previous three months. Most of the monthly increase came from the province's CAs (+4.6%), followed by Halifax (+1.6%).

The number of beneficiaries in Prince Edward Island declined 1.1% to 7,400. The decline was focused in Charlottetown (-4.5%), while Summerside reported a small increase (+1.1%).

While there was little change in the number of EI beneficiaries in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick in September, this was not the case in some areas within these provinces.

Across the four CMAs in British Columbia, the number of EI beneficiaries decreased 3.7% in Vancouver and increased 1.9% in Abbotsford–Mission, while Victoria and Kelowna were unchanged over the month. The number of beneficiaries increased 2.6% in the areas outside of CMAs and CAs.

In Saskatchewan, the number of people receiving EI benefits increased in Regina (+4.7%), while it declined in Saskatoon (-2.0%).

Manitoba reported a decrease in the number of people receiving regular EI benefits in the Winnipeg metropolitan area (-2.2%), while beneficiaries increased in the province's CAs (+3.0%).

In Ontario, the number of beneficiaries decreased in 7 of the 15 CMAs: Guelph (-4.1%), Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (-2.0%), London (-2.0%), Brantford (-1.5%), Ottawa (-1.2%), Toronto (-1.1%), and Windsor (-1.1%). On the other hand, the number of people receiving EI benefits increased in St. Catharines–Niagara (+3.3%), Greater Sudbury (+2.2%) and Thunder Bay (+1.1%).

The Québec CMA reported a 4.3% increase in the number of beneficiaries, while Saguenay posted a 1.6% decline.

The number of EI beneficiaries rose in both of New Brunswick's CMAs, up 3.1% in Moncton and 1.5% in Saint John. At the same time, the number of beneficiaries decreased 1.0% in the province's CAs.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries by occupation

Compared with September 2014, there were more EI recipients among workers whose last job was in natural and applied sciences (+19.2%), occupations unique to primary industry (+17.7%) and those who worked as trades, transport and equipment operators (+17.6%).

Additionally, there were more beneficiaries among people who last worked in social sciences, education, government services and religion (+4.6%), in business, finance and administrative occupations (+3.9%), in management positions (+3.8%) and in occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities (+1.3%).

On the other hand, there were fewer beneficiaries among people who last worked in art, culture, recreation and sport (-5.6%), in health (-4.2%) and in sales and service occupations (-3.1%).

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

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

Compared with August, there were more EI beneficiaries among people aged 55 and older, up 1.8% or 2,300. The increase for this age group was entirely among men, who saw the number of EI beneficiaries increase by 2.9%.

The number of beneficiaries also increased among people aged 25 to 54, rising 1.0% or 3,500, with men accounting for the entire monthly increase (+1.6%).

In the 12 months to September, the number of beneficiaries continued to increase for all age groups, with men posting most of the gain.

Employment Insurance claims

The number of Employment Insurance claims declined by 3.0% to 234,400 in September. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

EI claims decreased in seven provinces, led by Ontario (-4.1%), Manitoba (-4.0%) and Quebec (-3.6%). Claims also fell in New Brunswick (-2.8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (-2.8%), Alberta (-2.5%) and Saskatchewan (-2.0%). The number of claims was unchanged for British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

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 more 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 September 13 to 19. 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.

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 October will be released on December 17.


More information about the concepts and use of Employment Insurance statistics is available online in the Guide to Employment Insurance Statistics (Catalogue number73-506-G), from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

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 Jeremy Weeks (613-951-1369; or Lahouaria Yssaad (613-951-0627;, Labour Statistics Division.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: