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“In January, 375,000 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down by 20,000 (-5.0 per cent) from December 2022 and the lowest number of regular EI beneficiaries on record since comparable data became available in 1997, outside of the period when the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit was in place from March to September 2020, reported Statistics Canada on Thursday.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of regular EI beneficiaries fell by 294,000 (-43.9 per cent). The largest proportional decline was observed among young women aged 15 to 24 years (-73.0 per cent; -27,000), followed by young men aged 15 to 24 years (-59.9 per cent; -31,000), said the federal agency.
According to the Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 per cent in January, just above the record low of 4.9 per cent observed in June and July 2022. In addition, the proportion of long-term unemployment (being continuously unemployed for 27 weeks or more) was 15.8 per cent in January, down from 19.9 per cent one year earlier, said the report.
“The number of core-aged (25 to 54 years) people receiving regular EI benefits fell by 11,000 (-4.5 per cent) in January, accounting for more than half (54.7 per cent) of the monthly decline. Declines were recorded for core-aged women (-5.0 per cent; -4,800) and core-aged men (-4.1 per cent; -6,100). Among people aged 55 years and older, the number of regular EI beneficiaries fell by 1,800 (-4.2 per cent) among women and by 1,600 (-2.2 per cent) among men.”