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The Progressive Economics Forum

Falling EI Benefits Amid Rising Unemployment

Statistics Canada reported today that 5,200 fewer Canadians received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in March, even though 6,800 more Canadians filed EI claims.

The Labour Force Survey indicates that 42,100 more Canadians were unemployed in March. In other words, the federal government provided benefits to fewer workers despite a spike in unemployment and more applications for benefits.

As a result, only 38% of unemployed Canadians received EI benefits (i.e. 523,700 beneficiaries out of 1,374,700 unemployed workers). To improve EI coverage in Canada’s weak job market, the federal government should increase the accessibility and duration of benefits for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

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Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: May 24, 2013, 2:22 am

The federal government should increase the accessibility and duration of benefits for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. But in addition, they should also be offered the option of a job at minimum wage with benefits (employment buffer stock). See the following blog:

What is a Job Guarantee?

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=23719

Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: May 26, 2013, 4:53 am

Letter in Whitehorse Star [Whitehorse, Y.T]
22 May 2013

Re: Canadian ‘debt clock’ passes $600 billion

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the federal debt works out to $17,200 for every person in the country.

But that $600 billion foregone by the government is now in the hands of the private sector. If you divide by the Canadian population, it also works out to $17,200 per person.

Every government debit is matched by a credit in the private sector! The CTF only presents half of the truth, which supports its small-government and low-tax agenda.

But the other side of the coin is that more government spending means more net financial wealth in the non-government sector, and more people employed.

The biggest waste in our society is not government spending. It’s keeping 1.4 million Canadians jobless, with the attendant costs of increased stress and sickness, more household breakdowns, additional crime and alcoholism, and the degradation of skills in our workforce.

Unemployment of the 1930s was finally ended by massive government spending on armaments and soldiers.

Today, the government can put people to work more productively in building transportation infrastructure and in providing services for health and safety, education, and environmental protection. Paradoxically, as the aftermath of the Second World War demonstrated, when the economy is sufficiently stimulated with a high level of employment, the debt-to-GDP ratio actually declines.

And now you know the rest of the “debt clock” story!

Larry Kazdan,
Vancouver, B.C.

Credit: The Daily Star

(Copyright (c) 2013 Whitehorse Star. All rights reserved.)

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