Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in CalgaryThe number of people in Alberta receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits continues to fall.

Statistics Canada reported on Thursday that 45,900 people in the province received regular EI benefits in September, a decrease of 6.2 per cent from the previous month, “continuing a downward trend that started at the beginning of 2019.”

“In September, decreases were widespread across the province, including in the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Calgary (-7.0 per cent) and Edmonton (-5.4 per cent). On a year-over-year basis, the number of regular EI beneficiaries in the province was down 6.3 per cent,” said the federal agency.

In September, 445,600 people in Canada received regular EI benefits, down 5,600 (-1.2 per cent) from August, it said.

“There were notable decreases in five provinces, particularly in Alberta and British Columbia. At the same time, there were more EI beneficiaries in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. On a year-over-year basis, the number of EI recipients in Canada fell by 4,800 (-1.1 per cent), with declines in seven provinces. The largest decreases were in Alberta (-6.3 per cent), Nova Scotia (-5.5 per cent) and Saskatchewan (-5.1 per cent).”

StatsCan said variations in the number of beneficiaries can reflect changes in the circumstances of different groups, including those becoming beneficiaries, those going back to work, those exhausting their regular benefits, and those no longer receiving benefits for other reasons.

“In September, there were 241,300 EI claims, up 2.1 per cent from August. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries. Claims data pertain to initial and renewal claims received for any type of EI benefits, which includes special benefits,” it said. 

“The number of claims increased in seven provinces from the previous month, led by Ontario (+5.9 per cent), Saskatchewan (+5.1 per cent) and Manitoba (+4.7 per cent). At the same time, there was a decrease in claims in Quebec (-2.4 per cent). On a year-over-year basis, the number of claims at the national level was up 1.1 per cnet. There were increases in Ontario (+6.0 per cent), British Columbia (+5.2 per cent) and Manitoba (+1.3 per cent). Declines were observed in five provinces, notably Newfoundland and Labrador (-7.3 per cent) and Nova Scotia (-6.7 per cent).”

In Alberta, the number of initial and renewal claims rose by 1.7 per cent month over month but was down 5.6 per cent year-over-year.

Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.

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