A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

EI - The Numbers

Stats Can has just released the numbers for folks on EI receiving benefits, and it should not be a surprise that the number of workers RECEIVING EI is up over 16% year to year. Bear in mind that this is for December and average across Canada, before the crunch really hit, and that typically it takes a month or more AFTER applying before the claim get “processed”. In our own case its now been almost 3 months and we are still not “receiving benefits”!

From Stats Can
In December, 538,200 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, up 25,000 or 4.9% from November, after seasonal adjustment.
The number of Canadians receiving regular EI benefits rose by 79,100 between December 2007 and December 2008, a 16.6% increase. The number of men receiving benefits went up 21.7% while for women the number increased by 8.6%.
The number of regular beneficiaries were up in all provinces and territories compared with the same month a year earlier, with the largest increases occurring in British Columbia (+33.2%), Alberta (+30.3%) and Ontario (+29.6%).

BC – 49,790 receiving EI Alberta – 20,381 Ontario – 167,840

I note that even though the other provinces are affected similarly percentage wise, it is Ontario where by far the most Families are affected, by a factor of 3:1 to the next worst numbers. Given that, at least here in Ontario there has been a steady list of layoffs and pending layoffs from mid December on through January and February which do not show on these stats here is my prediction.

I expect Ontario numbers to show %100 increase over the previous year in EI benefits being paid out by May (given that the stats are 30 to 60 day behind and payments are delayed by 30 to 60 days on average). In 2006 the annual amount paid out was 12 billion (all of Canada), I’m guessing 5 to 8 billion for Ontario alone this year! I also predict that thing are not going to improve much over the summer and that thousands of these folk are going to be “off the list” by fall and still have no job. It not called doom and gloom, just reality!

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