Employment Insurance recipients rise slightly in Alberta

But nationally, StatsCan says number of beneficiaries was on the decline in March

The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in March rose in Alberta from February, according to Statistics Canada.

Data released by the federal agency on Thursday indicate that 80 more people were on EI during March. However, on a year-over-year basis, the number of EI recipients fell by 7,220.

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80 more people were on EI during March

The Calgary census metropolitan area experienced a similar trend. There were 240 more people in March on EI than in February but year-over-year the number was down by 342 people.

The Edmonton census metropolitan area saw a drop of 170 people month over month and 2,680 fewer year over year.

Nationally, StatsCan said 436,600 people received regular EI benefits, down 4,400 from February. On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI beneficiaries in Canada decreased by 33,500.

“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,” it said.

In March, there were 243,900 claims, up 4.7 per cent from the previous month. 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, it said.

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“The number of claims rose in all provinces, with the largest increases in Manitoba (+11.1 per cent), New Brunswick (+9.5 per cent), Prince Edward Island (+8.5 per cent) and Quebec (+8.0 per cent),” explained the federal agency.

“On a year-over-year basis, the number of claims rose by 7.2 per cent at the national level, due in part to a relative low point in March 2018. The largest increases were in Alberta (+19.2 per cent), Prince Edward Island (+17.2 per cent) and Manitoba (+14.7 per cent), with each of these provinces also having been near a relative low at the beginning of the period. There were smaller year-over-year increases in all other provinces except Nova Scotia, where the number of claims was little changed.”

– Mario Toneguzzi


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