The number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries in Alberta continued a downward trend in May that began in the fall of 2016, decreasing by 5.8 per cent to 52,800, says Statistics Canada.
“Declines were observed throughout the province, led by the census agglomerations (-8.7 per cent). The number of beneficiaries also decreased in the census metropolitan areas of Calgary (-7.1 per cent) and Edmonton (-2.4 per cent). In the 12 months to May, the number of EI recipients in the province fell by 21,000 (-28.4 per cent). Over the same period, LFS (Labour Force Survey) data show that the unemployment rate in Alberta declined from 7.8 per cent to 6.2 per cent,” said the federal agency on Thursday.
It said 454,100 Canadians in May received regular EI benefits, virtually unchanged from April. In the 12 months to May, the number of EI recipients in Canada fell by 81,300 (-15.2 per cent). Over the same period, the Labour Force Survey shows that the unemployment rate in Canada declined by 0.7 percentage points to 5.8 per cent in May.
“In general, variations in the number of beneficiaries can reflect changes in the circumstances in a number 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 the number of EI recipients fell in all 10 broad occupation groups. The largest declines were among those whose last job was in education, law and social, community and government services (-17.9 per cent); business, finance and administration (-17.7 per cent); trades, transport and equipment operators (-16.0 per cent); as well as in natural and applied sciences (-15.7 per cent).
“The number of claims totalled 226,600 in May, little changed from April. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries,” said the federal agency.
“In May, claims fell in Prince Edward Island (-6.7 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (-4.0 per cent), Saskatchewan (-3.1 per cent), New Brunswick (-2.4 per cent) and Quebec (-1.8 per cent). In contrast, there were increases in Alberta (+3.0 per cent) and, to a lesser extent, Manitoba (+1.5 per cent), Nova Scotia (+1.3 per cent) and Ontario (+1.1 per cent). There was little change in British Columbia. In the 12 months to May, claims decreased by 1.2 per cent nationally.”
Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.
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