Canadians Receiving Employment Insurance Little Changed Month-Over-Month in January 2022

Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported today (3-24-22) that approximately 633,000 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in January, little changed from December 2021. The January EI statistics reflect labor market conditions during the week of January 9th to 15th, 2022.

According to the Labor Force Survey (LFS), unemployment rose by 106,000 to 1.3 million in January. The unemployed included 1.1 million Canadians who were looking for work and 200,000 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 report identified that over half (54.8%) of regular EI recipients last worked in one of five industries:

  1. Construction—21.7%
  2. Accommodations and food services—9.3%
  3. Manufacturing—9.1%
  4. Administrative and support services—7.5%
  5. Retail trade (not seasonally adjusted)—7.3%

January’s LFS results showed that employment in accommodation and food services (-26.4%; -324,000) remained further from its pre-pandemic February 2020 level than all other industries.

During January, there were 350,000 EI claims, compared with 432,000 in January 2021. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries. Claims data include initial and renewal claims received for any type of EI benefit, including special benefits.

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