The number of Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits increased by 25,000 (+6.0%) to 438,000 in July. This was the third consecutive monthly increase and the largest increase since May 2021. From April to July 2023, the number of Canadians receiving regular EI benefits has increased by 10.5% (+42,000), says a report by Statistics Canada.
According to the Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.5% in July, marking the third consecutive monthly increase, said the federal agency.
It said the number of regular EI beneficiaries increased in seven provinces in July, led by New Brunswick (+19.4%; +4,500), Manitoba (+14.9%; +2,000), Prince Edward Island (+13.9%; +900) and Quebec (+13.5%; +14,000). Meanwhile, the number of people collecting regular EI benefits fell in Ontario (-3.0%; -3,600) and was little changed in Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.
“In July, New Brunswick saw its first increase in the number of regular EI beneficiaries since a year earlier. Likewise, Prince Edward Island recorded its first increase since December 2022 and Nova Scotia recorded its first increase since January 2023. In these three provinces, the number of regular EI recipients had generally trended downwards over the past year, before increasing in July,” said StatsCan.
“Among census metropolitan areas (CMAs), the largest proportional increases in regular EI beneficiaries were in the CMAs of Moncton (+32.4%; +700), Trois-Rivières (+29.7%; +500) and Saint John (+29.4%; +600). Conversely, the largest proportional decreases in the number of beneficiaries were in the CMAs of Oshawa (-9.8%; -300) and Greater Sudbury (-6.3%; -500).”
The report said the number of people collecting regular EI benefits increased among both men (+5.4%; +14,000) and women (+6.9%; +10,000) in July. The number of male regular EI beneficiaries has steadily increased since April (+13.3%; +33,000). Among women, July saw the first monthly increase in the number of regular EI beneficiaries since February.
“The number of core-aged (25 to 54 years) male regular EI beneficiaries increased by 6.0% (+9,800) in July, with a faster pace of growth in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Quebec, compared with the other provinces. This contributed to 68.0% of the monthly increase among men. The number of people collecting regular EI benefits rose by 6.4% (+1,900) among young men aged 15 to 24 years, while it increased by 3.8% (+2,700) among men aged 55 years and older,” it said.
“In July, 67.4% of the monthly increase for women collecting regular EI benefits was among those aged 55 years and older (+17.3%; +7,000), with gains recorded in all provinces. The number of regular EI recipients rose among core-aged women (+2.9%; +2,800) and women aged 15 to 24 (+4.5%; +500).”
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