May 26, 2009

Canadian jobless claims up 10.6 percent

The number of unemployed Canadians receiving federal insurance increased by 10.56 percent to 681,400 in March, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

The month-over-month increase of 65,300 from February was the largest since the labor market started to deteriorate last October. Since then, employment insurance claimants have risen by 36.2 percent, StatsCan said.

In March, there was a notable increase in the number of beneficiaries in Alberta and British Columbia. Alberta experienced a climb of 32.1 percent to 42,200 in March, while British Columbia claimants rose 26.7 percent to 82,200.

In Alberta, the drop in employment in recent months has mostly hit construction, trade, manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical services, the agency said. In Victoria, British Columbia, the number of beneficiaries increased 159.4 percent, while in Vancouver, the 20,400 additional beneficiaries represented an increase of 136 percent in one year.