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  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Organizational Responses Canadian Centre for Policy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

EI Runs Out

The number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits plummeted in December. The drop of 40,100 was the largest monthly decrease in years.

One would anticipate some decline in the number of EI recipients as the job market begins to recover. But the magnitude of December’s decline suggests that, in addition to those former recipients who found work, many more simply ran out of benefits.

The Labour Force Survey indicates that employment decreased by 2,600 in December. Therefore, it seems unlikely that 40,100 EI recipients found jobs during that month. (The December edition of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours will not be released until next week.)

Chronology reinforces the concern about people running out of benefits in December. EI claims normally expire after a year, but provide less than a year of benefits. Therefore, many claims established during the worst of the economic crisis (the end of 2008 and early 2009) would have expired or been exhausted in December 2009.

Fewer than half (47.8 %) of unemployed Canadians received EI benefits in December (744,010 out of 1,555,800).

The federal government has recently made some modest but welcome improvements to EI benefits. Today’s numbers underscore the need for further enhancements as unemployment remains high in the wake of the economic crisis.

UPDATE (February 20): Quoted in The Hamilton Spectator

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