Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported today (6-23-22) that 20,000 fewer Canadians, or -3.8%, received regular employment insurance (EI) benefits in April. That brought the total number of beneficiaries to 496,000. In comparison, there were 1.2 million, or -70.2%, fewer regular EI beneficiaries in April of 2022 than in May of 2021, when the number reached its peak pandemic level.
According to the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate declined -0.1% points in April to a reading of 5.2% (after reaching a new record low in March of 5.3%).
In the context of record low unemployment, the long-term unemployed—those who have been searching for work or on temporary layoff for 27 weeks or more, as measured by the LFS—accounted for 19.7% of the unemployed as of May 2022. This remains higher than the pre-pandemic level of 15.6%.
Elevated long-term unemployment has persisted despite many other leading labor market indicators having fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
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Employment Insurance, April 2022