In December, 514,200 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits—little changed from November. The number of beneficiaries has been relatively stable since May 2013, following a long-term downward trend that began in the summer of 2009.
Saskatchewan and Alberta posted an increase in the number of people receiving regular EI benefits in December, while there were fewer beneficiaries in New Brunswick. There was little change in the other provinces.
The change in the number of regular EI beneficiaries reflects various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, people going back to work, and people who no longer receive regular benefits.
Chart 1 Number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries relatively stable since May 2013
Employment Insurance claims increase for the second month in a row
The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.
Nationally, the number of initial and renewal claims rose for the second consecutive month in December, up 3.3% to 233,300. Compared with December 2012, the number of claims increased by 2.0%, following four consecutive year-over-year monthly declines.
Chart 3 Employment Insurance claims increase for the second consecutive month in December