The number of people receiving regular EI benefits increased by 12,400 or 2.3 per cent to 561,100 in January, according to Statistics Canada.
The increase returned the number of beneficiaries to about the same level as June 2011.
The number of beneficiaries rose in eight provinces, with the largest percentage increase occurring in Quebec.
To receive EI benefits, individuals must first submit a claim. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.
Nationally, the number of initial and renewal claims rose by 3,700 or 1.6 per cent to 242,300 in January.
Provincially, the number of claims increased 4.4 per cent in Quebec, 3.9 per cent in Ontario and 2.8 per cent in New Brunswick.
Claims fell 7.8 per cent in Alberta, 3.2 per cent in British Columbia, 1.4 per cent in Manitoba and 1.4 per cent in Nova Scotia. There was little change in the remaining three provinces.
More beneficiaries in most provinces
The number of people receiving regular EI benefits in January rose in eight provinces, with the largest percentage increase occurring in Quebec (5.3 per cent).
There were also notable percentage increases in Manitoba (1.7 per cent) and Ontario (1.5 per cent). At the same time, the number of beneficiaries edged down in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
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