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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

April 20, 2023

In February 2023, there were 22,240 Nova Scotians in receipt of regular employment insurance benefits (seasonally adjusted). Nova Scotia's seasonally adjusted regular employment insurance usage declined by 90 (-0.4%) from January 2023 to February 2023.

There were 387,780 Canadians that received regular employment insurance benefits in February 2023 (seasonally adjusted), an increase of 11,360 (+3.0%) from January 2023. 

All provinces except Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador reported a decline in regular beneficiaries in February. The largest decline in percentage terms was reported in Prince Edward Island (-7.2%). 

Comparing the first two months of 2023 to first two months of 2022, Nova Scotia's employment insurance usage was down by 32.0%. National employment insurance usage was down by 38.9% with declines in all provinces. The largest decline in employment insurance usage was reported in Quebec and the smallest in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The number of employment insurance beneficiaries amounted to 4.2% of the labour force in Nova Scotia in February 2023. Nationally, the share of beneficiaries was 1.8% of the labour force. 

Use of employment insurance (as a share of the labour force) declined compared to pre-pandemic levels for all age cohorts of both men and women.   

Across all age cohorts, there are fewer women than men of comparable ages receiving regular benefit employment insurance.

Use of employment insurance was down for all counties comparing unadjusted regular beneficiaries for February 2023 with those reported in February 2022.

In percentage terms, the largest decline in employment insurance use from February 2022 to February 2023 was reported in Queens (-43.1%). Inverness reported the smallest decline (-10.4%).

Notes: From March to September 2020, Statistics Canada suspended publication of employment insurance statistics.  Canadians were eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) during this period.  Data for the period from March to September 2020 shows how an initial rise in employment insurance claims at the start of the pandemic was reversed as new employment insurance applicants were directed to CERB instead.  After September 27, 2020 there was a temporary expansion of employment insurance and CERB recipients were transitioned back to employment insurance. Temporary changes, including a reduction in the number of insurable hours required for eligibility, ended in September 2021. 

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table  14-10-0011-01   Employment insurance beneficiaries (regular benefits) by province and territory, monthly, seasonally adjustedTable  14-10-0323-01   Employment insurance beneficiaries by census division, monthly, unadjusted for seasonalityTable 14-10-0287-01  Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle, last 5 months

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