The number of people receiving regular employment insurance benefits in May remained virtually unchanged compared to the month prior, according to Statistics Canada. About 512,600 Canadians received EI payments in May.
There was little or no change in beneficiaries in most provinces in May. Alberta saw the largest change, with the number of people receiving regular EI benefits decreasing 2.3 per cent to 24,000. In Ontario, the number of beneficiaries edged down 0.9 per cent to 148,200, following a substantial decline in April.
Initial, renewal claims fall
To receive EI benefits, individuals must first submit a claim. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.
Small increases took place in New Brunswick, which saw an increase of 2.1 per cent, and Prince Edward Island, with 1.5 per cent more EI recipients. There was little change in the other provinces.
Nationally, the number of initial and renewal claims fell by 9,910, or 4.2 per cent, to 223,800 in May. The largest percentage decline was in Saskatchewan, where claims fell 11 per cent. New Brunswick saw an 8.3 per cent decline, while Manitoba saw a 6.6 per cent decline. There was little change in the other provinces.
Year-over-year declines took place in most large urban centres with a population of 10,000 or more. Between May 2011 and May 2012, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits fell 13.6 per cent to 468,100. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the number of beneficiaries declined in four of five large centres. In Ontario, 37 of the 41 large centres had fewer beneficiaries in the 12 months to May. All of Saskatchewan’s and Alberta’s urban centres (20 in total) saw declines.
Both men, women see double digit declines
In May, 288,540 men received regular benefits, down 14.2 per cent from May 2011. The number of beneficiaries fell at a roughly similar pace for men under 25 (14.6 per cent) and their counterparts aged 25 to 54 (14.7 per cent). Among men aged 55 and over, the number of people receiving benefits declined 12.3 per cent.
A total of 179,510 women received regular benefits in February, down 12.7 per cent from 12 months earlier. Among women under 25, the number of beneficiaries fell 14.5 per cent from May 2011. Of those aged 25 to 54, the number of beneficiaries fell at 13.3 per cent. For women aged 55 and over, the decline was 10.1 per cent.
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