Issue 20-64: Employment Insurance

April 16, 2020

The number of people receiving employment insurance (EI) benefits in British Columbia decreased by 1,470 (‑3.4%) in February compared to January, to reach 41,570 individuals. The decrease was mostly driven by a decline in male recipients (-1,130 persons or -5.0%), while the number of female recipients also saw a drop in the month (-150 persons or ‑0.9%).

The decrease in beneficiaries in British Columbia was widespread across all census metropolitan areas (-550 persons or -2.6%), census agglomerations (-560 persons or -4.5%) and outside census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations (-380 persons or -4.0%).

The number of EI claims in British Columbia (an indicator of the number of future EI recipients) went down by 1.3% in February compared to the previous month. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic effects, EI claims from February will likely be a poor indicator for March and April beneficiary recipients.

Nationally, the number of EI beneficiaries fell in February, with 5,940 fewer people collecting EI, a 1.3% decrease compared to January. The number of both female (‑1,030 persons or ‑0.6%) and male (-4,910 persons or -1.7%) recipients fell in February.

The number of EI claims went down by 0.3% in February to reach 241,100. The decrease was concentrated in just three provinces: Alberta (-5.5%), British Columbia (-1.3%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-2.7%). Employment insurance claims grew in February in all other provinces.

Data Source: Statistics Canada