In March, 517,900 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, up 5,900 or 1.1% from February. Compared with March 2014, the number of EI beneficiaries rose slightly (+2,600), the first year-over-year increase since February 2010.
For the third consecutive month, Alberta led all provinces in terms of growth in the number of beneficiaries, with an 8.9% increase in March. Notable increases also occurred in Saskatchewan (+3.8%), Nova Scotia (+2.8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.2%) and Manitoba (+2.0%).
Slight increases were recorded in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, while there were fewer beneficiaries in Quebec, and little change in New Brunswick and Ontario.
The change in the number of regular EI beneficiaries reflects various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, people going back to work and people no longer receiving regular benefits.
Chart 1 Number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries