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EI numbers continue descent

EI numbers continue descent

Posted on: 6/26/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

The number of employment insurance beneficiaries in Alberta has been on the decline for three consecutive months. April’s total was a five per cent drop in claims over March and represented 3,040 people. According to Statistics Canada, the decline continued to be strongest in our cities. In Edmonton, the number of recipients fell 7.3 per cent, in Calgary the number slid 3.5 per cent.

Alberta continued to lead all provinces in April with the fastest year-over-year decline in EI beneficiaries. Compared to the same month last year, the number of recipients has fallen 28.7 per cent.

While part of the decline is due to some Albertans running out of eligibility for EI benefits, the significant drop in claims over the past three months is due to Alberta's economic recovery. It’s true that our province experienced a net loss of 1,800 jobs in April, but we saw a surge in full-time employment (+8,900) suggesting better quality, full-time positions are returning.

Alberta’s economy and its labour market continue to recover from the 2015-16 recession. That means more Albertans have found or are finding work. Still, the overall unemployment rate will likely stay higher than the province is accustomed to until the end of the year and that could slow the decline in EI beneficiaries.

EI, graph

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