Number of Canadians on jobless benefits jumps in September

Alberta sees 9.1 per cent rise

OTTAWA (Reuters) — The number of Canadians receiving employment insurance benefits rose in September, with most of the increase coming from the oil-rich province of Alberta, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.

There were 6,080 more people receiving jobless benefits, a 1.1 per cent increase from August. Compared to a year ago, the number of beneficiaries rose 8.3 per cent.

Alberta, whose economy has been hard hit by the plunge in oil prices, saw a 9.1 per cent increase in jobless benefits in September, led by an increase in those who had last worked in the trade, transport and equipment operations sector. There was also a spike in benefits going to people who had held business, finance and administrative jobs.

Employment insurance claims, which help to gauge the number of people who could receive jobless benefits, declined by three per cent in Canada.

Although overall job creation in Canada has been relatively resilient this year, the drop in oil prices has led to layoffs in the energy sector. Canada was in a mild recession in the first half of the year, but growth picked up again in the third quarter.

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