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Employment Insurance, September 2022

Released: 2022-11-17

In September, 27,000 (-5.6%) fewer Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 455,000, a similar level to February 2020 (447,000) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate in September 2022 fell 0.2 percentage points to 5.2%, as fewer people searched for work.

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.

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

The number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries decreases in all provinces

The number of people receiving regular EI benefits fell in every province in September. The largest proportional decreases occurred in New Brunswick (-19.7%; -7,000), Nova Scotia (-11.5%; -3,000), and Manitoba (-10.2%; -2,000). Ontario (-1.1%; -1,000) and Prince Edward Island (-1.2%; -100) posted the smallest declines.

In September, the largest proportional regional declines in regular EI beneficiaries were in the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Moncton (-26.7%; -800), Saskatoon (-21.6%; -700) and Saint John (-19.4%; -600). Conversely, the number of beneficiaries increased in the CMAs of Guelph (+8.5%; +100), Hamilton (+6.3%; +400), and St. Catharines–Niagara (+3.5%; +200).

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

In September, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits fell in all age groups for the second month in a row. The largest proportional decrease occurred among EI recipients aged 15 to 24 years (-10.1%; -5,000), and the number of recipients in this age group fell for the 16th consecutive month.

Women accounted for the majority of both the August and September decreases in beneficiaries. Following a decline of 23,000 (-10.6%) in August, the number of women receiving regular EI benefits fell by 21,000 (-10.7%) in September, accounting for 77.3% of the net monthly decline. The number of EI beneficiaries also decreased among men in September (-2.1%; -6,000).

Regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries fall in most occupational groups

The number of regular EI recipients declined in 9 of the 10 broad occupational groups in September, with the largest decrease occurring among those who last worked in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (-9,000; -5.6%) and sales and service occupations (-8,000; -11.3%). Together, these two occupational groups accounted for just under two-thirds (63.3%) of the monthly decrease in September.

In contrast, the number of regular beneficiaries who last worked in occupations in manufacturing and utilities increased in September (+9.9%; +4,000). Within this broader occupational group, assemblers in manufacturing in Ontario (+75.6%; +5,000) accounted for nearly all of the monthly increase. According to the LFS, employment in the manufacturing industry in Ontario fell by 19,000 (-2.4%) in September, while the most recent data from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing reported that manufacturing sales were unchanged in September, following four consecutive monthly declines.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries decreases in 9 of 10 broad occupational groups in September
Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries decreases in 9 of 10 broad occupational groups in September





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 COVID-19 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 September 11 to 17, 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 October will be released on December 15.

Products

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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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