In September, 692,700 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, an increase of 14,600 or 2.2 per cent from August.
The number of regular beneficiaries, which has been hovering around the 690,000 mark throughout most of this year, was 16.5 per cent below the peak of June 2009.
The number receiving benefits rose in every province in September, with the biggest increases in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.
However, the number of initial and renewal claims received in September amounted to 249,600, down by 7,200 or 2.8 per cent from the month before. This was the first decline since March 2010.
Between September 2009 and September 2010, the number of regular EI beneficiaries fell in 117 of the 143 large centres — communities with a population of 10,000 or more.
Since last September, the number of men receiving regular EI benefits fell by 18.4 per cent or 65,700, continuing the downward trend of year-over-year declines that began last March for this group. This contrasts with a much slower rate of decrease of 3.3 per cent among women. The number of women receiving regular benefits has been on a downward trend since June 2010.