Number of EI recipients grew by over 10% in March

Canada records its biggest increase in benefits claims since the start of the economic crisis

Over 65,000 Canadians joined the swelling ranks of employment insurance recipients last March, a 10.6 per cent increase over the previous months. Alberta and British Columbia recorded the steepest increases in the number of EI recipients, 32.1 per cent and 26.7 per cent respectively. In all, some 681,400 people are collecting benefits in Canada. While the number of initial or renewal claims went down slightly (1.9 per cent) in March, the overall number of recipients has swelled by 36.2 per cent since the job market started contracting in October.

The Canadian Press

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.