The number of people receiving regular benefits in May was the highest since comparable data became available in 1997.
Following two months of small declines, the number of initial and renewal claims received in May increased 5.2% to 332,800, the highest number of claims since 1997.
Fastest increases in the West and Ontario
Since employment peaked in October 2008, the number of regular EI beneficiaries has risen by 278,300, or 55.6%, with increases in all provinces and territories.
Sub-provincial and demographic overview: The number of beneficiaries more than doubles in many large centres in the West and Ontario
EI data by sub-provincial region, sex and age are not seasonally adjusted and, therefore, should only be compared on a year-over-year basis.
Between May 2008 and May 2009, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits increased in all census metropolitan areas (see map).
More youth receiving EI benefits
In May, the year-over-year percentage increase in the number of people receiving regular EI benefits was highest for youths under 25 (+94.0%), followed by people 25 to 54 (+71.3%) and those 55 and over (+60.2%). Since the start of the labour market downturn last autumn, young people have experienced the largest percentage decline in employment.
Claims reach a new high
To receive EI benefits, individuals must first submit a claim. Statistics on claims cover the whole month and provide an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.
Data tables are also now available online. From the By subject module of our website, choose Labour.
Data on Employment Insurance for June will be released on August 25.
A set of maps, Employment Insurance Statistics Maps (73-002-X, free), is now available online. The maps show percent changes in the number of people receiving regular EI benefits for all census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations in Canada. From the Publications module of our website, under All subjects, choose Labour.
You can this release at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/090728/dq090728a-eng.htm
For further information or to schedule interviews with a Statistics Canada Analyst regarding this release please contact: Jey Dharmaraj, at: (416) 954-5976 or firstname.lastname@example.org