The number of people receiving regular employment insurance (EI) benefits was 539,000 in November, virtually unchanged from October, according to data from Statistics Canada.
The number of EI beneficiaries fell in Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. In British Columbia and Quebec, the number of people receiving benefits rose slightly.
Claims down slightly in November
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 edged down 0.8 per cent to 238,300 in November. While claims fell 4.2 per cent in Ontario, they increased 5.7 per cent in Manitoba and 5 per cent in Saskatchewan. There was little or no change in the other provinces.
Number of beneficiaries down in four provinces
Provincially, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits in November declined in Prince Edward Island (2.7 per cent), Ontario (1.8 per cent), Nova Scotia (1.6 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1.6 per cent).
The number edged up in British Columbia (1.2 per cent) and Quebec (0.7 per cent), while it was little changed in the other provinces.
The decrease in Ontario continued a two-year-long series of declines. In Nova Scotia, the number of beneficiaries declined for the third consecutive month.
While virtually unchanged in November, the number of EI beneficiaries in Alberta has been on a steady downward trend since October 2009.