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Employment Insurance, August 2022

Released: 2022-10-20

In August, 485,000 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down by 21,000 (-4.1%) from July.

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate in August rose to 5.4%, following a record low of 4.9% observed in June and July.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Fewer regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries in August
Fewer regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries in August

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.

The number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries decreases in eight provinces

Compared with July, the number of people who received regular EI benefits fell in eight provinces in August. The largest decrease occurred in Quebec (-12,000; -9.5%), which accounted for more than half of the national decline.

Other notable proportional decreases in regular EI beneficiaries occurred in Newfoundland and Labrador (-7.1%; -3,000) and New Brunswick (-6.1%; -2,000). British Columbia (+1.0%; +400) was the only province to see an increase in regular EI beneficiaries in August.

On a regional basis, the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Trois-Rivières (-16.0%; -400), Moncton (-14.1%; -500), and Montréal (-12.5%; -6,000), as well as areas outside large population centres in Quebec (-8.2%; -4,000) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-7.2%; -2,000), posted the largest proportional decreases in regular EI beneficiaries in August.

Fewer people in all age groups collected regular Employment Insurance benefits in August

The number of women receiving regular EI benefits fell by 15,000 (-7.0%) in August, accounting for most of the monthly decline. The number of regular EI beneficiaries fell for the seventh consecutive month among women aged 15 to 24 years (-12.3%; -2,000) and women aged 55 years and older (-5.1%; -3,000). A decrease was also seen among core-aged women (aged 25 to 54 years) (-7.1%; -9,000) in August.

At the same time, there were also fewer beneficiaries among male youth (-4.3%; -2,000) aged 15 to 24 years, men aged 55 years and older (-2.3%; -2,000), and core-aged men (-1.4%; -3,000) in August.

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries fall in 8 of 10 occupational groups

In August, the number of regular EI recipients fell in 8 of the 10 broad occupational groups. The largest decrease in beneficiaries occurred among those who last worked in sales and service occupations (-8.4%; -7,000), followed by those who last worked in business, finance and administration occupations (-8.1%; -4,000).

Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations and trades, transportation, and equipment operators and related occupations were the only occupational groups to see little change in regular EI beneficiaries in August.

In the Spotlight: Job search methods among the unemployed

Like other unemployed workers, recipients of regular Employment Insurance benefits may use a variety of methods to find work. Despite significant labour market changes in recent years, the job search methods used by Canadians were largely the same in August 2022 compared with the same month in 2019. Of the just over one million (1,034,000) job seekers in August, more than three-quarters (77.4%) looked for work by searching job ads. Other commonly reported search methods included checking with employers directly (47.1%), placing or answering ads (43.2%), and checking with friends or relatives (30.5%) (not seasonally adjusted).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Job search method as a percentage of total job seekers
Job search method as a percentage of total job seekers

In August, the percentage of women and of men using each job search method was about the same, with only two notable differences. As a percentage of total job seekers, men (51.9%) checked with employers directly more often than women (42.1%), and men (13.3%) were also more likely check with a private employment agency than women (7.8%) (not seasonally adjusted).

The next EIDaily will be released on November 17 with September data.

Sustainable Development Goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the following 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.

Employment Insurance statistics are an example of how Statistics Canada supports reporting on global sustainable development goals. This release will be used to help measure the following goal:

  Note to readers

Employment Insurance in the context of broader COVID-19 benefit programs

No methodological changes have been made to the Employment Insurance Statistics (EIS) program over the COVID-19 pandemic period. EIS reflect the Employment Insurance (EI) program for the Labour Force Survey (LFS) reference week in each month.

Data for the October 2020 reference period and onward comprise individuals who obtained EI benefits and exclude beneficiaries of the Canada recovery benefits (Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, and Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit).

Concepts and methodology

The analysis focuses on people who received regular EI benefits related to job loss.

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.

EI statistics indicate the number of people who received EI benefits and should not be confused with 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, unless otherwise specified. To model the effects of the pandemic, values for all series from March 2020 to November 2021 have been treated with a combination of level shifts and outliers in determining a seasonal pattern for seasonal adjustment. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

The number of regular EI beneficiaries for the current month and the previous month is subject to revision.

The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all people who received regular EI benefits from August 14 to 20, 2022. This period coincides with the reference week of the LFS.

Employment Insurance beneficiaries by industry

The industry of EI beneficiaries is determined by integrating EI data with record of employment administrative data. For beneficiaries with more than one record of employment in the 52 weeks prior to the reference week, the records with the greatest number of hours are used. If no industry information can be found, industry information is deemed "Not classified" for the beneficiary.

A census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred 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 availability

In the data tables 14-10-0004, 14-10-0005, 14-10-0007 and 14-10-0008, for the March to September 2020 reference periods, data have been suppressed because a source data file contains records for Canada Emergency Response Benefit claimants and beneficiaries who could not be identified and excluded through processing.

Next release

Data on EI for September will be released on November 17.


More information about the concepts and use of Employment Insurance statistics is available in the Guide to Employment Insurance Statistics (Catalogue number73-506-G).

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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