Regular EI beneficiaries down in Calgary and Edmonton

The number of recipients in Canada declined by 13%, with all provinces recording year-over-year decreases

There were 46,200 Albertans receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in November, 1.5 per cent fewer than in October, according to Statistics Canada.

The number of EI beneficiaries was down 680 from the previous month.

On an annual basis, that was also down by 17,250 or 27.2 per cent.

“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,” explained the federal agency on Thursday.

eiIn Alberta, the decline was fuelled by the Calgary census metropolitan area, where EI beneficiaries fell by 680 or 4.7 per cent on a month-over-month basis and by 7,250 or 34.3 per cent year over year.

In November, there were 13,880 people receiving regular EI in the Calgary CMA.

In the Edmonton census metropolitan area, there were 17,460 people receiving regular EI in November, which was actually up by 20 or 0.1 per cent from October. However, year over year, the Edmonton CMA experienced a decline of 4,640 people or 21 per cent.

StatsCan said the regular EI beneficiaries in Canada was virtually unchanged from a month earlier at 439,000, following three consecutive months of declines. Increases in Ontario (+2.6 per cent) and New Brunswick (+2.5 per cent) were offset by decreases in Quebec (-3.8 per cent), Manitoba (-1.5 per cent), Alberta (-1.5 per cent) and Saskatchewan (-1.4 per cent).

Compared with November 2017, the number of EI recipients in Canada declined by 66,200 (-13.1 per cent), with all provinces recording year-over-year decreases, added the federal agency.

“In November, the number of EI beneficiaries rose among those whose last job was in manufacturing and utilities occupations (+2.7 per cent); followed by sales and service (+2.2 per cent); and art, culture, recreation and sport (+1.2 per cent). At the same time, there were fewer beneficiaries among those whose last job was in four of the 10 broad occupational groups, led by education, law and social, community and government services (-2.0 per cent) and natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations (-2.0 per cent ). Compared with 12 months earlier, there was a decrease in the number of beneficiaries who were last employed in each of the 10 broad occupational groups,” it said.

StatsCan also reported that the number of EI claims rose by 8,900 or 3.9 per cent to 237,000 in November, offsetting a decrease in the previous month. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries. Claims increased in every province except Newfoundland and Labrador, where there was little change, it said.

“Compared with November 2017, claims increased by 3.4 per cent at the national level. Saskatchewan (-5.2 per cent) and Alberta (-4.4 per cent) were the only provinces in which claims decreased over that period. The number of claims in Canada has been relatively stable since the fall of 2016.”

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business


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