The number of people receiving employment insurance benefits dropped three per cent in March from February, decreasing the total number of beneficiaries by 18,600 to 606,200, according to Statistics Canada.
The decrease marks the sixth straight month of declines, with the number of people receiving benefits down in every province. The fastest declines were reported in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia.
The number of people receiving EI benefits has plunged 12.4 per cent over the last year.
Number of EI claims also down
March also marked the third consecutive month where there was a decline in the number of initial and renewal claims made by those seeking to receive EI benefits. Claims were down by 10,400, or 4.4 per cent, to 226,600.
This decrease brings the total number of claims down to lower than the number recorded in August 2008, just prior to the market downturn. The number of initial and renewal claims increased by 2.4 per cent in New Brunswick and two per cent in Manitoba, but declined in every other province.
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