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Employment Insurance Benefits Rate Declining

With all of the talk about the recession over the past several months, it is always heartwarming to hear of good news that occurs within the world of job hunting. As the Synergy Merchant Services Blog continues to seek such news, Synergy Merchant Services continues do its part in helping the economy by offering new career opportunities to worthy applicants.

We remain happy to maintain our hiring streak and are just as happy to report on some good news today as it relates to unemployment in Canada. For the first time in 11 months, the number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance benefits has decreased. Ontario, Quebec and Alberta experienced the biggest declines, based on numbers retrieved from July by Statistics Canada.

As Business Reporter, Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew writes today, records show that in July, 787,000 Canadians received regular EI benefits which was down 31,500 from June – a 3.8 per cent drop. In addition, the number of initial and renewal claims also decreased by 25,500 to 274,700 – an 8.5 per cent drop.

Sun Media's Althia Raj received comments from Statistics Canada analyst, Vincent Farrao about this finding. “It’s a combination of some people going back to work and some people exhausting their benefits,” he said, noting that there is an indication that employment is picking up.

More than half of Ontario's decline in EI beneficiaries were in Toronto, although the 107,810 people receiving benefits this past July is still 59,670 people greater than the number of EI recipients in July 2008.

Acharya-Tom Yew notes that United Steelworkers economist Erin Weir warns in a report that the news of declining EI numbers is not necessarily all that good.

Weir writes: “A likely explanation is that significant numbers of unemployed workers are now running out EI benefits without finding jobs. This development underscores the importance of enacting the proposed benefit extension for some long-tenured workers, but also the need for broader EI reform to improve benefits for all unemployed workers.”

She does note however that, “the silver lining in today's figures is that the number of new EI claims continued to decline. This trend seems to confirm that, while unemployed workers are not finding jobs, the pace of layoffs has slowed.”

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