Number of EI beneficiaries drops in July

Sep 22, 2014

The number of Albertans collecting federal employment insurance benefits dipped in July. There were 28,520 people receiving cheques, down nearly 1,300 from June. There are 4.5 per cent fewer recipients than there were in July of last year. Those figures are adjusted to reflect regular and predictable trends due to seasonality in the labour market.

Nationally, the number of people collecting benefits in July totalled 499,300, little change from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of beneficiaries decreased 2.9 per cent. While nine provinces (including Alberta) enjoyed decreases in the number of beneficiaries, these declines were partially offset by an increase in Ontario.

Examined side-by-side with other monthly reports on labour market conditions, today’s EI report reflects a job market in Alberta that remains stable and healthy. However, these data are for July. According to the most recent labour force survey, the province shed more than 11,000 jobs in August. That could show up as a rising number of beneficiaries in the August or September report.

Even with the dip in July, Alberta’s numbers have been essentially unchanged over the last three years. The number of beneficiaries has hovered close to 30,000 since the summer of 2001, following a strong and steady decline in after the recession.