The number of people receiving regular employment insurance benefits decreased for the third straight month in December, according to Statistics Canada.
The number of beneficiaries fell 40,100 in December to 744,000. There were fewer beneficiaries in all provinces in December, with the most notable decreases in Ontario (down 16,900), Quebec (down 4,600), British Columbia (down 3,300) and Alberta (down 3,200).
The number of people receiving regular EI benefits has fallen by 85,300 since the peak of 829,300 reached last June. Despite the decline in recent months, the number of beneficiaries remains 243,700 above its October 2008 level just before the recession hit.
EI claims have been on a downward trend since May 2009, declining by a total of 63,000.
In December, there were 264,700 initial and renewal claims, a decline of 5,500 from November. This decrease occurred in five provinces, with the most notable decline in Ontario.
However, there were increases in five other provinces, particularly in Quebec.
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