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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

November 21, 2019
EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, SEPTEMBER 2019

In September 2019, the number (seasonally adjusted) of Nova Scotians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits decreased by 300 persons (1.2 per cent) from the previous month to 25,710 and decreased by 1,490 persons (-5.5 per cent) from September 2018.  Following an increase through much of 2016, the number of EI beneficiaries in Nova Scotia has been trending down since the beginning of 2017. Reported EI levels for 2019 are near a 20-year low, with the June result (25,430 persons) the lowest reported level within the current data series back to 1997.

The number (seasonally adjusted) of Canadians receiving regular EI benefits in September 2019 was down by 5,580 persons (1.2 per cent) from the previous month at 445,620. The number of regular EI beneficiaries decreased by 4,810 (-1.1 per cent) from September 2018.

Year-to-date, the number of Nova Scotians receiving regular EI benefits declined by 4.6 per cent.  Nationally, EI usage has declined 4.7 per cent compared to the first nine months of 2018. All provinces except New Brunswick (+0.4 per cent) have seen declines in year-to-date EI usage, with largest declines in Alberta (-9.6 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (-8.4 per cent) and Saskatchewan (-8.0 per cent). 

AGE

The bulk of EI beneficiaries in Nova Scotia are aged 25 to 54, who also account for the largest share of the labour force.  In September, the number of beneficiaries aged 25-54 declined by 190 persons, month-to-month.  The number of beneficiaries aged 55 and older decreased by 150 persons, and the number of beneficiaries aged 15-24 was up 40 persons compared to the previous month.

Measured as a share of the labour force, EI usage is more prevalent among older workers (6.6 per cent) than it is among youth (3.9 per cent) or core aged workers (4.9 per cent).

EI BENEFICIARIES AS A SHARE OF THE UNEMPLOYED BY PROVINCE

The number (seasonally adjusted) of Nova Scotians receiving regular EI benefits in September 2019 accounted for 5.1 per cent of the total labour force. In Canada, the number of EI beneficiaries accounted for 2.2 per cent of the total labour force.

In Nova Scotia, EI beneficiaries accounted for 71.2 per cent of the unemployed in September, compared to a Canadian rate of 40.0 per cent. Across the country, EI beneficiaries accounted for the highest share of the unemployed in the Atlantic provinces, led by Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. EI beneficiaries accounted for the lowest share of the unemployed in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia.

Note that due to differences in estimation methodology, it is possible for the reported number of EI beneficiaries to exceed the reported number of unemployed in a given jurisdiction.

COUNTIES

In the first nine months of 2019, EI usage (regular beneficiaries, unadjusted) was up in Guysborough and Inverness counties compared to the same period last year. Decreases were seen in all other counties, with the largest decline in percentage terms in Annapolis (-14.4 per cent).

OCCUPATION

Nova Scotia's EI usage by occupation (seasonally adjusted) is highest among trades/transport/equipment operators, followed by sales and service occupations, natural resources, manufacturing and utilities, and occupations in business, finance and administration.

Compared to January-September 2018, usage is up in business and finance (+2.5 per cent), art, culture, recreation and sports (+21.6 per cent), and in unclassified occupations.  All other occupation categories have seen a decline in the number of EI beneficiaries in year-to-date terms.

Legislative changes to the EI program came into effect in July 2016. While some of these changes affected all EI regions across Canada, eligible claimants in the 15 regions that posted notable increases in unemployment received additional weeks of regular benefits starting in July. More information on the 2016 EI changes is available on Employment and Social Development Canada's (ESDC) website. As a result of the changes to the EI program, historical comparisons are not recommended, except in areas outside of the 15 EI regions where eligible claimants received additional weeks of benefits. These 15 EI regions are Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Ontario, Sudbury, Northern Manitoba, Southern Saskatchewan, Northern Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Southern Alberta, Northern Alberta, Calgary, Edmonton, Southern Interior British Columbia, Northern British Columbia, Whitehorse and Nunavut.

Source: Statistics Canada

Table  14-10-0011-01   Employment insurance beneficiaries (regular benefits) by province and territory, monthly, seasonally adjusted

Table  14-10-0337-01   Employment insurance beneficiaries (regular benefits) by province, territory and occupation, monthly, seasonally adjusted

Table  14-10-0323-01   Employment insurance beneficiaries by census division, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality



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