Statistics Canada (StatsCan) is reporting that February Employment Insurance (EI), reflecting the week of February 14 through February 20, shows the number of Canadians receiving regular EI benefits rose 3.6% (+53,000) to 1.5 million in February, following an 11.2% increase in January. Results from the Labor Force Survey (LFS) indicate that employment increased 259,000 in February, following two months of losses, while unemployment fell to 1.7 million, including 1.4 million who were looking for work and 300,000 who had a connection to a job, either because they were on temporary layoff or had arrangements to begin a new job in the near future. The number of regular EI beneficiaries rose in seven provinces in February, led by Ontario (+35,000; +6.3%), British Columbia (+18,000; +13.2%), and Newfoundland and Labrador (+10,000; +22.0%). Almost three-quarters of the increase observed in Ontario was attributable to regular EI beneficiaries who also worked at some point during the reference week, reflecting the loosening of public health measures in the province during that week. At the same time, Quebec (-18,000; -4.8%), Alberta (-2,000; -1.0%) and Manitoba (-1,000; -1.4%) posted decreases in the number of regular EI recipients
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Employment Insurance, February 2021