The number of people receiving regular employment insurance (EI) benefits in February fell by 6,700 or 1.2 per cent to 552,800, according to Statistics Canada.
The number of beneficiaries fell in six provinces, with the largest percentage declines occurring in Alberta, Saskatchewan and 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 fell by 5,900 or 2.5 per cent to 236,100 in February. The largest percentage decline was in Quebec, where claims fell 6.3 per cent. There was little change in the other provinces.
The number of people receiving regular EI benefits in February fell in six provinces, with the largest percentage declines in Alberta (four per cent), Saskatchewan (3.8 per cent) and Quebec (3.4 per cent).
There were also marked declines in Ontario (2.9 per cent) and Nova Scotia (2.7 per cent). At the same time, the number of beneficiaries edged down in New Brunswick. There was little change in the other provinces.
In February, 463,000 men received regular benefits, down 10.2 per cent from February 2011. The number of beneficiaries fell at a roughly similar pace for men under 25 (10.5 per cent) and their counterparts aged 25 to 54 (11.2 per cent). Among men aged 55 and over, the number of people receiving benefits declined 6.7 per cent.
A total of 224,600 women received regular benefits in February, down 14 per cent from 12 months earlier. Among women under 25 and those aged 25 to 54, the number of beneficiaries fell at a similar rate, 15.4 per cent and 14.9 per cent, respectively. For women aged 55 and over, the decline was 10.3 per cent.
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