Employment Insurance, November 2019
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In November, 451,000 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, virtually unchanged from the previous month. Increases in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Nova Scotia were offset by slight declines in other provinces.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI recipients in Canada increased by 5,000 (+1.1%). The provinces with the largest increases in EI beneficiaries were New Brunswick (+6.1%), British Columbia (+4.2%), Saskatchewan (+3.0%) and Ontario (+3.0%).
In general, variations in the number of beneficiaries can reflect changes in the circumstances of different groups, including those becoming beneficiaries, those going back to work, those exhausting their regular benefits, and those no longer receiving benefits for other reasons.
Provincial and sub-provincial overview
There were 15,900 regular EI recipients in Saskatchewan in November, up 3.5% from October. The majority of the increase was from those who last held a job in trades and transport (+8.2%). More beneficiaries were reported across the province, notably in the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Saskatoon (+6.5%) and Regina (+5.0%). Over the same period, the unemployment rate in Saskatchewan increased 0.7 percentage points to 5.8%. Compared with November 2018, the number of regular EI beneficiaries in the province rose 3.0%.
In Alberta, the number of regular EI beneficiaries was up 2.2% to 49,100 from the previous month. Increases were recorded across the province, notably in the CMA of Calgary (+1.5%). On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI recipients in the province was little changed, however there were notably more beneficiaries who last worked in manufacturing and utilities, and in natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations.
In November, the number of regular EI beneficiaries in Nova Scotia rose 2.0% to 26,000. There were more beneficiaries in the CMA of Halifax (+3.1%) and the census agglomeration (CA) of Cape Breton (+2.0%). Compared with November 2018, the number of beneficiaries in the province decreased 4.4%.
In British Columbia, the number of EI recipients fell 0.9% from the previous month, to 40,800. Decreases in the CMAs of Abbotsford–Mission (-3.8%) and Vancouver (-1.6%) were partially offset by an increase in the CA of Kamloops. On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in the province rose 4.2%.
The number of EI recipients in Ontario was little changed in November, as decreases in some CMAs—such as Guelph, St. Catharines–Niagara, and London—offset increases in other areas. On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in the province increased 3.0%.
The number of regular EI beneficiaries in Quebec was also little changed from the previous month. Increases in the CMAs of Sherbrooke and Québec were offset by decreases in the CMAs of Ottawa–Gatineau and Montréal. Compared with November 2018, the number of beneficiaries in the province was virtually unchanged.
EI beneficiaries by occupation
On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI beneficiaries increased in 5 of the 10 broad occupational groups, led by those who last worked in manufacturing and utilities (+12.5%), natural resources, agriculture and related production (+4.9%) and education, law and social, community and government services (+4.0%). At the same time, fewer recipients were recorded among those whose last job was in art, culture, recreation and sport (-10.6%) and in health occupations (-8.8%).
EI claims increase
In November, there were 244,800 EI claims, up 1.6% from October. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries. Claims data pertain to initial and renewal claims received for any type of EI benefits, which includes special benefits.
Compared with October 2019, the number of claims increased notably in six provinces, particularly in Nova Scotia (+6.8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+5.0%) and Saskatchewan (+4.1%). These increases were partially offset by fewer claims in New Brunswick (-3.9%) and British Columbia (-1.3%).
On a year-over-year basis, the number of claims at the national level was up 3.1%, with increases in Saskatchewan (+11.2%), Alberta (+7.0%) and Ontario (+6.3%). At the same time, declines were reported in Prince Edward Island (-4.1%) and New Brunswick (-3.8%).
Beneficiaries receiving regular income benefits by province and territory, sex and age group – Seasonally adjusted
Beneficiaries receiving regular income benefits by census metropolitan category – Seasonally adjusted
Sustainable Development Goals
On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.
Employment Insurance statistics are an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used in helping to measure the following goal:
Note to readers
Concepts and methodology
The analysis presented here focuses on people who received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits related to job loss. Claims data pertain to initial and renewal claims received for any type of EI benefits, including special benefits.
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.
Regular EI benefits are paid 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.
EI statistics indicate the number of people who received EI benefits, and should not be confused with Labour Force Survey (LFS) data, which provide estimates of 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 was not insured. Other unemployed people have contributed to the program but do not meet the eligibility criteria, such as workers who left their jobs 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.
Numbers in the Daily text are rounded to the nearest hundred.
The number of regular EI beneficiaries and the number of claims received for the current month and the previous month are subject to revision.
The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all people who received EI benefits from November 10 to 16. This period coincides with the reference week of the LFS. However, claims data are for the entire month.
A census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centered on a population centre. A CMA 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 2016 – definitions for more information.
Data on EI for December 2019 will be released on February 20, 2020.
More information about the concepts and use of Employment Insurance statistics is available in the Guide to Employment Insurance Statistics (73-506-G).
For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).
To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Brittany Milton (613-462-7962; email@example.com), Centre for Labour Market Information.