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  • Boom, Bust and Consolidation November 9, 2018
    The five largest bitumen-extractive corporations in Canada control 79.3 per cent of Canada’s productive capacity of bitumen. The Big Five—Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil and Husky Energy—collectively control 90 per cent of existing bitumen upgrading capacity and are positioned to dominate Canada’s future oil sands development. In a sense they […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • A new Director for CCPA's BC Office: Message from Mary Childs, Board Chair October 24, 2018
    The CCPA-BC Board of Directors is delighted to share the news that Shannon Daub will be the next BC Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Last spring, Seth Klein announced that, after 22 years, he would be stepping down as founding Director of the CCPA-BC at the end of 2018. The CCPA-BC’s board […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Who Owns Canada’s Fossil-Fuel Sector? October 15, 2018
    The major investors in Canada’s fossil-fuel sector have high stakes in maintaining business as usual rather than addressing the industry’s serious climate issues, says a new Corporate Mapping Project study.  And as alarms ring over our continued dependence on natural gas, coal and oil, these investors have both an interest in the continued growth of […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Pharmacare consensus principles released today September 24, 2018
    A diverse coalition representing health care providers, non-profit organizations, workers, seniors, patients and academics has come together to issue a statement of consensus principles for the establishment of National Pharmacare in Canada. Our coalition believes that National Pharmacare should be a seamless extension of the existing universal health care system in Canada, which covers medically […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Kate McInturff Fellowship in Gender Justice September 19, 2018
    The CCPA is pleased to announce the creation of the Kate McInturff Fellowship in Gender Justice.This Fellowship is created to honour the legacy of senior researcher Kate McInturff who passed away in July 2018. Kate was a feminist trailblazer in public policy and gender-based research and achieved national acclaim for researching, writing, and producing CCPA’s […]
    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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