August 25, 2009

More Canadians receiving jobless benefits

The number of unemployed Canadians receiving federal jobless benefits rose by 5.1 percent to 816,000 in June, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

Since the labor market began to deteriorate last autumn, the number of people receiving Employment Insurance benefits has risen sharply, the report said. Compared with October 2008, the number of people on EI has increased 63.2 percent, or 316,300.

By province, Alberta was hardest hit, with the number of regular beneficiaries up by 9.4 percent to 61,100 in June. British Columbia's rate increased by 5.5 percent, to 93,500 people.

As the automotive manufacturing sector went into decline last year, the border city of Windsor, Ontario, saw a year-over-year increase in EI beneficiaries from 4,500 to 14,200, the report said.

Demographically, the fastest rate of growth was among people under the age of 25. From June 2008 through June 2009, the number of claimants rose 108.6 percent, StatsCan said.

The country's unemployment rate was 8.6 percent in July, the agency said in a separate release.