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

Employment Insurance, April 2024

Released: 2024-06-20

In April, 456,000 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down 2.8% (-13,000) from March. Prior to the decline in April, the number of regular EI recipients had trended higher from February to December 2023 (+78,000; +19.8%) and held relatively steady in the early months of 2024.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of regular EI beneficiaries was up by 60,000 (+15.1%) in April 2024.

Data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) show that employment grew 0.4% (+90,000) in April. The unemployment rate, while unchanged in the month (6.1%), increased 1.0 percentage points compared with 12 months earlier.

In general, variations in the number of EI 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: After holding relatively steady in recent months, the number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries declines in April
After holding relatively steady in recent months, the number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries declines in April

Fewer men receive regular Employment Insurance benefits in April

The number of regular EI beneficiaries among core-aged men (25 to 54 years old) fell by 6,900 (-3.8%) in April, the largest decline for this group since February 2023. Men aged 55 and older (-3,900; -4.9%) as well as young men aged 15 to 24 (-1,100; -3.5%) also posted declines in April 2024. For men aged 55 and older, the decline was the second in three months, while for younger men, the decrease in April was the second consecutive decline.

The number of regular EI beneficiaries among women aged 15 to 24 edged down 1.4% (-200) in April, while there was little change among core-aged women as well as women aged 55 and older.

While declines were observed in April, there were more regular EI beneficiaries on a year-over-year basis among all major demographic groups.

Compared with April 2023, the number of regular EI beneficiaries increased by 27,000 (+17.8%) among core-aged men and by 17,000 (+18.1%) among core-aged women.

On a year-over-year basis, there were also more men (+5,600; +8.2%) and women (+4,100; +9.7%) aged 55 and older receiving regular EI benefits in April. Likewise, more young men (+4,200; +15.9%) and young women (+1,600; +14.2%) received regular EI benefits in April 2024 compared with April 2023.

Coinciding with the year-over-year increase in regular EI recipients, data from the LFS show that the unemployment rate rose for all major demographic groups in the 12 months to April 2024, with youth increasing the most, up 2.9 percentage points to 12.8%. Over the same period, the unemployment rate increased 0.7 percentage points for both core-aged recipients (to 5.1%) and those aged 55 and older (to 4.7%).

Fewer regular Employment Insurance recipients in most provinces in April

The number of regular EI beneficiaries fell in seven provinces in April. Nova Scotia (-15.8%; -3,500) posted the largest proportional decrease, followed by Saskatchewan (-9.7%; -1,400), New Brunswick (-7.2%; -1,800), Quebec (-3.8%; -3,900), Alberta (-3.5%; -1,900), Prince Edward Island (-2.4%; -200) and Manitoba (-1.8%; -300). There was little change in the remaining provinces.

In Nova Scotia, the number of regular EI recipients decreased by 15.8% (-3,500) in April, following a smaller decline the previous month (-1.7%; -400). Declines in April were mostly among core-aged (-2,000; -15.2%) and older (-1,200; -17.3%) recipients. On a year-over-year basis, there were 2,200 (-10.3%) fewer regular EI recipients in the province.

Saskatchewan also posted fewer EI recipients receiving regular benefits, down 9.7% (-1,400) in April, following a smaller decline (-1.2%; -200) in March.

The number of regular EI beneficiaries fell 7.2% (-1,800) in New Brunswick, the largest decrease in the province since September 2023. Compared with April 2023, there were 1,600 (-6.4%) fewer New Brunswickers receiving regular EI benefits in April 2024.

In Quebec, the number of regular EI recipients fell 3.8% (-3,900) in April, the largest of three consecutive declines. The largest decreases in the month were among core-aged men (-1,900; -4.8%) and older men (-1,400; -6.4%). In the 12 months to April, the number of regular EI recipients increased by 13,000 (+14.7%). Data from the LFS showed that the unemployment rate in the province increased 0.9 percentage points to 5.1% over the period.

Fewer Albertans (-3.5%; -1,900) received regular EI benefits in April, the second consecutive monthly decline. Declines in the month were mostly among core-aged men (-1,100; -4.8%). Prior to the recent decrease, the number of regular EI recipients in the province trended up from April 2023 to January 2024 (+14,000; +34.1%). Data from the LFS show that, in the 12 months to April 2024, more people in the province were searching for work and the unemployment rate was up 1.1 percentage points to 7.0%.

In April, the smallest proportional decreases in regular EI recipients were recorded in Prince Edward Island (-2.4%; -200)—the third consecutive monthly decrease in that province—and in Manitoba (-1.8%; -300), following little change there in the three previous months.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Regular Employment Insurance recipients decrease in most provinces in April, led by Nova Scotia
Regular Employment Insurance recipients decrease in most provinces in April, led by Nova Scotia

Did you know we have a mobile app?

Download our mobile app and get timely access to data at your fingertips! The StatsCAN app is available for free on the App Store and on Google Play.

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

Revisions to Employment Insurance statistics

With the July 18, 2024, release of May data, the seasonally adjusted series of Employment Insurance statistics will be revised back to January 2000 to reflect the most recent seasonal factors as well as the 2021 Standard Geographical Classification. Also, data for Employment Insurance (EI) beneficiaries by occupation conforming to the 2021 National Occupational Classification will be available from January 2008 onwards.

Concepts and methodology

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 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, 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 to determine 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 all people who received regular EI benefits from April 14 to 20, 2024. This period coincides with the reference week of the LFS.

A census metropolitan area (CMA) and a census agglomeration (CA) are 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.

Next release

Data on EI for May will be released on July 18.


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 (

Date modified: