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  • 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
  • Uploading the subway will not help Toronto commuters December 12, 2018
    The Ontario government is planning to upload Toronto’s subway, claiming it will allow for the rapid expansion of better public transit across the GTHA, but that’s highly doubtful. Why? Because Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek’s emphasis on public-private partnerships and a market-driven approach suggests privatization is the cornerstone of the province’s plan. Will dismembering the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 State of the Inner City Report: Green Light Go...Improving Transportation Equity December 7, 2018
    Getting to doctors appointments, going to school, to work, attending social engagments, picking up groceries and even going to the beach should all affordable and accessible.  Check out Ellen Smirl's reserach on transportation equity in Winnipeg in this year's State of the Inner City Report!
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Inclusionary housing in a slow-growth city like Winnipeg December 3, 2018
    In Winnipeg, there is a need for more affordable housing, as 21 percent of households (64,065 households) are living in unaffordable housing--according to CMHC's definition of spending more than 30 percent of income on shelter.  This report examines to case studies in two American cities and how their experience could help shape an Inclusionary Housing […]
    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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