ei-thumbnail-1.png
ei-thumbnail-1.png This article is more than 8 years old

Unemployed? Good luck getting EI as eligibility hits all-time low

Just 36.6% of unemployed workers are receiving Employment Insurance — an all-time low in Canada, according to the latest government statistics. The new milestone, calculated by comparing the number of regular EI beneficiaries in the latest Statistics Canada report with the number of unemployed workers from the Labour Force Survey, follows a series of policy […]

Just 36.6% of unemployed workers are receiving Employment Insurance — an all-time low in Canada, according to the latest government statistics.

The new milestone, calculated by comparing the number of regular EI beneficiaries in the latest Statistics Canada report with the number of unemployed workers from the Labour Force Survey, follows a series of policy changes over the last two decades that have made access to benefits increasingly difficult.

In 1990, 83% of the unemployed received benefits, but it took a dive to 42% in 1998 — when the former Liberal government redesigned the program to make it far less generous. After further changes by the Harper government in recent years, the beneficiaries-to-unemployed ratio fell below 40% in 2012 for the first time in almost 40 years.

In 2013, the ratio of beneficiaries-to-unemployed dropped to 37% after the government implemented further restrictions, requiring Canadians to accept any job it deems “suitable” — even if it’s unrelated to their career and comes with a 30% pay cut and hour-long commute.

It’s now hit a new low. Angella MacEwen, a Broadbent Institute Policy Fellow and economist with the Canadian Labour Congress, crunched the numbers after Statistics Canada released the EI data for June last week.

MacEwen also found huge discrepancies among cities when she took a closer look at the percentage of unemployed who are regular EI beneficiaries. Between June 1997 and June 2014, the vast majority of cities also saw a steady drop:

ei-city-chart_0.png

 Photo: LoozrboyUsed under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 licence. 

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
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

Amazon DSP News

Pierre Poilievre Claims He’s a Friend of the ‘Working Class’. He’s Spent Years Attacking Canadian Workers.

Related Stories

News

Amazon’s Use of “Massive Loophole” in Labour Law Hinders Courier Union Drive

View the post
News

Christian Nationalists Are Organizing Against LGBTQ Education Resources in Schools

View the post
News

5,000 Winnipeg City Workers Poised to Strike for the First Time in a Century

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Newspapers always have a business section – why not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers