There were 51,600 Albertans receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in April, down 2.8 per cent from March, according to Statistics Canada.
“There were decreases across the province, most notably in the areas outside of the CMAs and CAs (-3.8 per cent) and in the CMA of Calgary (-3.7 per cent). At the provincial level, there were fewer beneficiaries who had last worked in natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations (-12.4 per cent). Compared with April 2018, the number of regular EI recipients was down 9.6 per cent in the province,” said the federal agency on Thursday.
In the Calgary census metropolitan area, the number of EI beneficiaries was down 620 month over month and 2,980 year over year. In the Edmonton census metropolitan area, the number was down 260 on a monthly basis and by 1,770 on an annual basis.
“In general, variations in the number of beneficiaries can reflect changes in the circumstances of different groups, including those becoming beneficiaries, those going back to work, those exhausting their regular benefits, and those no longer receiving benefits for other reasons,” said StatsCan.
It said 438,300 people received regular EI benefits in Canada in April, little changed from March.
The number of beneficiaries decreased in seven provinces, most notably in Saskatchewan (-2.9 per cent), Alberta (-2.8 per cent) and Manitoba (-2.6 per cent). In contrast, there were increases in Nova Scotia (+4.2 per cent) and New Brunswick (+1.1 per cent), while there was little change in Quebec.
On a year-over-year basis, it said the number of EI beneficiaries in Canada decreased by 31,600 (-6.7 per cent), with declines in all provinces. At the same time, employment has been trending up, increasing 2.3 per cent over the 12 months to April.
“In April, there were 227,500 claims, down 6.2 per cent from the previous month. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries. Claims data pertain to initial and renewal claims received for any type of EI benefits, including special benefits,” said StatsCan.
“The number of claims decreased in all provinces, most notably in Manitoba (-19.6 per cent), Alberta (-8.4 per cent) and Quebec (-8.2 per cent). The decrease in Manitoba offset a similar increase in the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, the number of claims was little changed, as decreases in seven provinces, notably Quebec (-4.5 per cent) and Alberta (-4.4 per cent), offset increases in Prince Edward Island (+6.4 per cent), Ontario (+5.6 per cent) and British Columbia (+2.7 per cent).”