The number of Employment Insurance (EI) claims in Canada increased by 4.9% month-on-month to 242,400 in August, according to figures from Statistics Canada on Thursday.
Job insurance claims are an indication of the number of people who could begin receiving unemployment benefits. Year-on-year, claims rose 8.7%, the agency said.
EI claims increased in seven provinces in August, led by Alberta (+14.8%) – which is struggling with falling oil prices, Ontario (+7%) – the biggest province by population, and Newfoundland and Labrador (+4.5%). Claims also increased in British Columbia (+2.8%), Quebec (+2.6%), Saskatchewan (+2.5%) and New Brunswick (+1.3%).
At the same time however, claims decreased in Prince Edward Island (-3.8%) and Nova Scotia
(-1.3%), while the number of claims was unchanged in Manitoba.
In August, the number of people receiving regular benefits fell 7,900 compared with July, a decrease of 1.4% to 536,800. But on a year-over-year basis, the number of EI beneficiaries increased by 35,600 or 7.1%.