Skip to content

The Monitor Progressive news, views and ideas

Below 40% of the Unemployed Get EI

March 22, 2012

0-minute read

Statistics Canada reported today that 12,400 more Canadians received Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits in January. The increase in recipients reflected higher unemployment.

Indeed, the proportion of jobless workers receiving benefits remained 39% (i.e. 561,060 beneficiaries out of 1,421,200 officially unemployed Canadians.) Only 28% of unemployed Ontarians received EI benefits in January (i.e. 163,570 beneficiaries out of 593,400 unemployed), an issue almost certain to be raised in next week’s provincial budget.

Today’s reported increase in EI recipients provides further confirmation that the job market is deteriorating. The upcoming federal budget should improve the accessibility and duration of EI benefits to help a larger proportion of unemployed Canadians. More broadly, federal and provincial budgets should focus on job creation rather than austerity, which could further damage the weak labour market.

Erin Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union and a CCPA research associate.

Topics addressed in this article

Related Articles

Canada’s fight against inflation: Bank of Canada could induce a recession

History tells us that the Bank of Canada has a 0% success rate in fighting inflation by quickly raising interest rates. If a pilot told me that they’d only ever attempted a particular landing three times in the past 60 years with a 0% success rate, that’s not a plane I’d want to be on. Unfortunately, that looks likes the plane all Canadians are on now.

Non-viable businesses need an"off-ramp"

Throughout the pandemic, many small- and medium-sized businesses have weathered the storm, thanks to federal government help. In his deputation to Canada's federal Industry Committee, David Macdonald says it's time to give those businesses an "off-ramp".

Truth bomb: Corporate sector winning the economic recovery lottery; workers falling behind

This isn’t a workers’ wage-led recovery; in fact, inflation is eating into workers’ wages, diminishing their ability to recover from the pandemic recession. Corporate profits are capturing more economic growth than in any previous recession recovery period over the past 50 years.