Employment Insurance (EI) statistics released recently by Statistics Canada are the latest sign that the recession may be over and the Canadian labour market may be recovering.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits in July decreased by 3.8%, the first decrease in almost a year. The largest declines occurred in Ontario (5.9%), Quebec (5.3%), and Alberta (4.4%). Only Newfoundland and Labrador had a significant increase, where the number of beneficiaries increased 6.5%.
Despite these encouraging signs, the number of EI beneficiaries is still 57.4% above the level seen in October 2008. Youths and men have been particularly hard hit. The number of young men receiving EI benefits has increased by 122% in the last year, while the number of men between the ages of 25 and 54 receiving benefits has increased 86.4%. In comparison, the rate of growth in the number of female EI beneficiaries was just 32.5%.
The complete report is available online at Statistics Canada.