Employment Insurance recipients up in Alberta in July

The number of EI beneficiaries in Canada fell by 7,600, or 1.7%, with declines across seven provinces

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in CalgaryThere were 50,400 Employment Insurance recipients in Alberta in July, up 3.6 per cent from June. It’s the first monthly increase since February 2019, says Statistics Canada.

“The rise was driven by those who last worked in education, law and social, community and government services occupations, who represented 8.0 per cent of the total number of regular beneficiaries in the province in July. Increases were observed in the areas outside the CMAs and CAs (+5.8 per cent) and in the CMAs of Edmonton (+3.1 per cent) and Calgary (+2.9 per cent). LFS (Labour Force Survey) data indicate that the unemployment rate in Alberta increased 0.4 percentage points to 7.0 per cent in July. On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI recipients was down 5.2 per cent,” said the federal agency on Thursday.

Nationally in July, 450,600 people received regular EI benefits, up 5,100 (+1.1 per cent) from June. The number of EI beneficiaries increased in seven provinces, notably in New Brunswick and Alberta. In contrast, there was a decline in Quebec, while there was little change in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in Manitoba, it said.

“On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI beneficiaries in Canada fell by 7,600, or 1.7 per cent, with declines across seven provinces. The largest decreases were in Alberta (-2,700, or -5.2 per cent), Quebec (-2,700, or -2.5 per cent), and Newfoundland and Labrador (-2,100, or -6.1 per cent),” adds StatsCan.

“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.”

Statistics Canada said there were 243,200 EI claims in July, up 5.6 per cent from June. 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, including special benefits, it said.

“The number of claims increased in nine provinces from the previous month, notably in Alberta (+13.4 per cent) and Saskatchewan (+11.0 per cent). At the same time, there was a decrease in claims in New Brunswick (-2.1 per cent). On a year-over-year basis, the number of claims at the national level was up 2.8 per cent. There were increases in five provinces, led by Saskatchewan (+16.0 per cent), Alberta (+15.6 per cent) and British Columbia (+10.9 per cent). Declines were observed in Prince Edward Island (-7.8 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (-3.3 per cent), and Quebec (-2.1 per cent).”

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