The number of people receiving regular employment insurance benefits increased slightly in June, marking the third consecutive month of small increases, according to Statistics Canada.
In June, 691,600 people received EI benefits, an increase of 8,400 from May.
Despite these recent gains, the number of beneficiaries has fallen by 137,700 (16.6 per cent) since the peak in June 2009.
The number of beneficiaries rose in nine provinces in June, with Ontario registering the only decline, with 3,000 fewer beneficiaries than in May. Since the peak in June 2009, the number of beneficiaries in Ontario has fallen by 69,800 (24.4 per cent). During the same period, employment in the province has increased, mostly in construction and several service industries.
The most notable increases occurred in Quebec and New Brunswick, with 2,100 and 1,400 new beneficiaries, respectively.
Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island also saw increases, with 900 and 450 new beneficiaries, respectively.
Between June 2009 and June 2010, the number of male EI regular beneficiaries fell by 88,100 to 346,100 (a 20.3-per-cent decline).
The fastest rates of decline occurred among young men under 25 years of age (down 30.0 per cent) and men aged 25 to 54 (down 22.6 per cent).
The number of female beneficiaries declined at a slower pace during this year-long period, down 2.6 per cent. This was the first year-over-year drop in the number of female beneficiaries since the fall of 2008.
The number of female beneficiaries aged 25 to 54 declined by 10,000 (5.4 per cent), while the number among those under the age of 25 fell by 2,600 (12.7 per cent). In contrast, the number of female beneficiaries aged 55 and over increased by 6,000 (15.2 per cent).
More claims submitted
To receive EI benefits, individuals must first submit a claim. Following small increases in April and May, the number of initial and renewal claims received in June edged up by 4,900 to 238,000.
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