piggybank-thumb-1.png
piggybank-thumb-1.png This article is more than 7 years old

Fewest people in 6 years collecting EI even though unemployment’s higher: new stats

It’s good to put money in the piggy bank for rainy days. But what if it starts to rain and you can’t get your money out? New data from Statistics Canada shows that the number of unemployed Canadians who are actually receiving Employment Insurance has fallen to below 500,000 people for the first time since July 2008 — before the […]

It’s good to put money in the piggy bank for rainy days.

But what if it starts to rain and you can’t get your money out?

New data from Statistics Canada shows that the number of unemployed Canadians who are actually receiving Employment Insurance has fallen to below 500,000 people for the first time since July 2008 — before the recession.

Back then, it was 497,840 (now it’s 499,330), yet nearly 300,000 more people are unemployed — from 1.1 million in July 2008 to 1.4 million in July 2014.

“In other words, the proportion of unemployed Canadians receiving benefits fell from almost half to little more than one-third,” explained Erin Weir, an economist with United Steelworkers, in a media note.

This follows news that the Conservative government is bringing in a “Small Business Job Credit,” pitched as a way to promote job creation through an EI premium cut. But an independent analysis by economist Mike Moffatt of Western University’s Ivey Business School shows the proposed scheme actually gives businesses incentives to fire people.

For Conservatives looking for a silver lining, the percenatge of unemployed workers collecting EI in July 2014 inched up by a few tenths of a percentage to 36.9%, from an all-time low the previous month.

To put things in perspective, 83% of unemployed Canadians received benefits in 1990. That number took a dive to 42% in 1998 after the program was redesigned by the former Liberal government. Further changes by the Harper government in recent years has led led to even more unemployed workers being unable to access EI benefits.

1unemployed-vs-ei-chart_0.png

Photo: seniorplanning. Used under Creative Commons BY-2.0 licence. 

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-09-027 Explainer

Erin O’Toole’s Plan to ‘Secure Pensions’ Could Allow Companies to Cut Pensions, Labour Experts Say

Related Stories

Explainer

Why Justin Trudeau’s Strategy on Affordable Housing Isn’t Working

View the post
New

Conservative Candidate Penned Op/Ed Calling For Privatization of Canada’s Healthcare System

View the post
Analysis

Here’s What Canada’s 3 Major Parties’ Climate Platforms Mean for Workers

View the post

Explainers

Equity & Politics

Erica Ifill

Why Justin Trudeau’s Strategy on Affordable Housing Isn’t Working

View the post
Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Why Immigrant, Newcomer and Racialized Communities Still Face Barriers to Voting in Canada

View the post
Politics & strategy

Kiavash Najafi

Why Raising Taxes on Canada’s Wealthiest Elites Is a Winning Issue This Election

View the post