Albertans receiving EI increased 'notably' last July, StatsCan says

The number of Albertans receiving Employment Insurance underwent a notable increase in July, the second highest jump in the country although EI rolls edged up in most provinces last summer, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.

The report stated that in July, EI recipients in Alberta totalled 50,4000, an increase of 3.6 per cent from 48,700 in June.

It was the first monthly increase in the province since February 2019.

However, it's still a drop of 5.2 per cent from July 2018, when 53,180 Albertans were receiving EI.

Mark Blinch/Reuters

People who worked in education, law, and community and government services drove the increase last July, Statistics Canada says.

These occupations made up eight per cent of July's overall EI beneficiaries in the province. 

The unemployment rate in the province that month was seven per cent.

Both of the largest cities saw increases in EI recipients: 3.1 per cent in Edmonton and 2.9 per cent in Calgary.

However, year over year, the number of recipients in Calgary dropped by 4.5 per cent and in Edmonton by 15.2 per cent. Lethbridge bucked the trend, with a 19.8 per cent surge in recipients in 2019 from 2018.

New Brunswick was the only province with an EI increase that exceeded Alberta's, growing by 4.9 per cent to 29,400.

Quebec was the sole province with a reported decrease in EI recipients. Its number of EI beneficiaries fell by 1.3 per cent to 108,090.

Overall, the number of EI beneficiaries decreased nationwide by 1.7 per cent in a year-over-year basis.

However, the number of claims increased across the country by 2.8 per cent, with Alberta up 15.6 per cent from the previous year.