In July, the number of people receiving employment insurance benefits decreased for the first time in 11 months, according to Statistics Canada.
There were 787,700 people receiving EI benefits in July, down by 31,500 or 3.8 per cent from June. The numbers declined in most provinces with Ontario, Quebec and Alberta reporting the largest declines.
In Ontario, the number of regular EI beneficiaries fell by 5.9 per cent (-16,800) to 266,800 in July. From October to June, the number of beneficiaries had increased every month, with monthly increases averaging 16,100.
In Quebec, the number of beneficiaries declined 5.3 per cent (-11,000) in July, when 197,700 people received benefits. From October to May, the number of beneficiaries had increased on average each month by 7,200 people, while there had been no change in June.
In Alberta, the number of regular EI beneficiaries fell 4.4 per cent (-2,700) to 59,500 in July. From October to June, the number of beneficiaries in this province had risen each month, with increases averaging 5,500.
The only province to record a notable increase was Newfoundland and Labrador, where 47,700 people received benefits in July, up 6.5 per cent from June.
Initial and renewal claims in July decreased by 8.5 per cent to 274,700 — following a similar decline in June.
Despite the overall drop in EI recipients in July, the number of beneficiaries was still 57.4 per cent higher than in October 2008.
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