Ranks of EI recipients grew by 16,400 in August: StatsCan

OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says the number of people on employment insurance rose by 16,400 or 3.2 per cent to 534,400 in August after three months of little change.

It says the number of beneficiaries rose notably in Quebec, while Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Ontario also experienced increases.

Meanwhile, the federal agency says the number of initial and renewed claims for EI edged down 1.3 per cent to 229,400 in August.

To receive benefits, individuals must first submit a claim and the number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

Provincially, initial claims fell by 11.3 per cent in Ontario, 8.7 per cent in Alberta, 6.3 per cent in Prince Edward Island, 5.6 per cent in both British Columbia and Nova Scotia and 4.0 per cent in Manitoba. They rose 5.2 per cent in Quebec.

The number of people actually receiving regular benefits rose seven per cent in Quebec, the largest percentage increase for any province.