OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says the number of people getting employment insurance benefits rose to 517,900 in March — up 2,600 from the same month last year and the first year-over-year increase since February 2010.
Alberta was the province with the biggest increase in people receiving EI benefits in March, rising by 8.9 per cent to 38,800.
Statistics Canada says it was the fifth consecutive monthly increase for Alberta and the second-biggest since June 2009.
Saskatchewan had the second-biggest increase between February and March, with the number of people getting EI benefits up 3.8 per cent to 12,300.
Other increases were recorded in Nova Scotia (up 2.8 per cent to 28,400), Newfoundland and Labrador (up 2.2 per cent to 32,900) and Manitoba (up two per cent to 13,900).
British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario had smaller increases, New Brunswick had little change and Quebec saw the number of EI beneficiaries drop by 1.5 per cent from February.