Number of Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits increased by 14,000 in July to 506,000; British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec experienced increases: Statistics Canada

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OTTAWA , September 22, 2022 (press release) –

In July, 506,000 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, up by 14,000 (+2.9%) compared with June. This was the first increase since January 2022, and also the first increase not associated with a tightening of public health restrictions since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate in July remained at a record low of 4.9%. This was followed by an increase in unemployment of 106,000 (+10.5%) in August, as indicated by the LFS for that reference month.

Chart 1: Modest rise in regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries in July

The number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries increases in three provinces
The number of people who received regular EI benefits increased in three provinces in July. The largest proportional increase occurred in British Columbia (+9.6%; + 4,000), followed by Manitoba (+9.2%; +2,000) and Quebec (+7.4%; +9,000). In contrast, there were fewer regular EI beneficiaries in Prince Edward Island (-1.7%; -200), Saskatchewan (-1.4%; -200) and Alberta (-1.3%; -700).

On a regional basis, the census metropolitan areas of Windsor (+73.8%; +3,000) and Victoria (+19.8%; +400) posted the largest proportional increases in regular EI beneficiaries in July.

The increase in Windsor was primarily among beneficiaries who last worked in mechanical, electrical and electronics occupations (+410.8%; +3,000). The auto industry in Windsor has been hit by semiconductor chip shortages and has experienced multiple shutdowns since the previous year.

More core-aged women collected regular Employment Insurance benefits in July
The number of women receiving regular EI benefits rose by 8,000 (+4.0%) in July, accounting for most of the monthly increase. After decreasing in four of the last five months, there were 9,000 more (+7.7%) core-aged female regular EI recipients aged 25 to 54 in July compared with June. The number of EI beneficiaries fell for the sixth consecutive month among women aged 55 and older (-2.1%; -1,000) and women aged 15 to 24 (-1.0%; -200).

The number of EI beneficiaries also increased (+2.2%; +6,000) among men in July, with a rise of beneficiaries among both core-aged men (+2.9%; +5,000) and men aged 55 and older (+1.6%; +1,000).

The rise in regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries concentrated in education, law and social, community and government services occupations
The number of regular EI recipients rose in 7 of the 10 broad occupational groups in July, with the largest increase occurring among those who last worked in occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (+13.9%; +8,000), accounting for over half (55.3%) of the monthly increase. In contrast, there were fewer regular beneficiaries who last worked in management occupations (-3.0%; -900).

Almost one-third of all regular EI recipients (31.0%, or 157,000) in July last worked in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations, the largest proportion of all broad occupational groups, with sales and service occupations accounting for the second-largest proportion (15.8%). Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations includes industrial, electrical and construction trades, as well as trades helpers, construction labourers and related occupations.

According to the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, there were 188,000 vacancies for trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations in the second quarter of 2022, including 55,400 vacancies in industrial, electrical and construction trades, and 31,600 vacancies in trades helpers, construction labourers and related occupations (not seasonally adjusted).

Chart 2: Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries increases in 7 of 10 broad occupational groups in July

Note to readers
Employment Insurance in the context of broader COVID-19 benefit programs
No methodological changes have been made to the Employment Insurance Statistics (EIS) program over the COVID-19 pandemic period. EIS reflect the Employment Insurance (EI) program for the Labour Force Survey (LFS) reference week in each month.

Data for the October 2020 reference period and onward comprise individuals who obtained EI benefits and exclude beneficiaries of the Canada recovery benefits (Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, and Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit).

Concepts and methodology
The analysis focuses on people who received regular EI benefits related to job loss.

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 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 in determining 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 a measure of all people who received regular EI benefits from July 10 to 16, 2022. This period coincides with the reference week of the LFS.

Employment Insurance beneficiaries by industry
The industry of EI beneficiaries is determined by integrating EI data with record of employment administrative data. For beneficiaries with more than one record of employment in the 52 weeks prior to the reference week, the records with the greatest number of hours are used. If no industry information can be found, industry information is deemed "Not classified" for the beneficiary.

A census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA) is 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.

Data availability
In the data tables 14-10-0004, 14-10-0005, 14-10-0007 and 14-10-0008, for the March to September 2020 reference periods, data have been suppressed because a source data file contains records for Canada Emergency Response Benefit claimants and beneficiaries who could not be identified and excluded through processing.

Next release
Data on EI for August will be released on October 20.

Products
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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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