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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: The Decline Resumes

Statistics Canada reports that, after February’s pause, Employment Insurance (EI) resumed its contraction in March. Specifically, 24,200 fewer Canadians received regular EI benefits. The key question is whether these unemployed workers found jobs or simply ran out of benefits.

The Labour Force Survey indicated that employment rose by 17,900 in March. Therefore, it seems unlikely that everyone leaving EI found a job.

Meanwhile, unemployment declined by only 4,300 in March. EI is contracting much faster than unemployment. In March, just 44% of officially unemployed Canadians received EI benefits (668,100 out of 1,515,100).

Canada’s labour market has recovered somewhat over the past year. However, both total unemployment and the unemployment rate are much closer to the peaks reached during the economic crisis than to pre-recession levels. Yet the EI program has already fallen back to its pre-recession level of coverage, in terms of the proportion of unemployed workers receiving benefits.

The federal government should improve EI to help a larger proportion of the Canadians who remain unemployed.

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