Exhausting EI, Again

The content in the EI report by myself and Sylvain Schetagne which was released by the CCPA yesterday won’t be new to readers of this blog – an updating of trends in unemployment and EI use to show that tens of thousands of workers who lost their jobs early in the Great Recession are and will soon be exhausting benefits due to stubbornly high unemployment.

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/updates/ei-isnt-working-canadas-unemployed

I can’t complain about lack of media coverage of this report, which got some welcome pick-up, though I do think there is usually massive media indifference to the plight of the unemployed victims of the Great Recession. Continuing unemployment of over 8% well into 2011 seems to have become the acceptable new normal, without thought being given to the human consequences.

There are a lot of personal stories posted among the many comments on our study on the CBC web site – and enough push back from those who think the unemployed are to be blamed for their own fate to tell us why EI usually falls well down the political agenda.

http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2010/01/25/ei-benefits-running-out.html

5 comments

  • Great report Andrew and Sylvain. Media were generous to you for sure.

    There definitely is a malaise in the media developing that leaves the residual of nothing can be done, defeatist attitude in the minds of readers, which predictable feeds into the powers that be.

  • What gets under my skin is that the Canadian news media always say that the US unemployment is somewhere around 17% if all are added. My question as usual is why does are Canadian news media tell us Canadians what the real unemployment rate is. It is much higher than the 8.4% if you include people who do not collect EI but social assistance.

  • What I always wonder is, if it’s all the fault of the unemployed if they don’t have jobs, how is it that unemployment rates can fluctuate much? Was there no crisis, just thousands of people suddenly becoming lazy and slothful who weren’t before? Or were people really thrown out of work, but it was a lurking moral malaise that stopped them from getting work again, and the difference between the current stubborn unemployment and short recessions is that this time the people who lost jobs all happened to also lack a work ethic? Should we reduce the unemployment rate by means of moral education? It’s nuts.

  • one thing that is never mentioned with unemployment,
    that i was laid off feb 5th, 2008 with a one year severance pay. i was on long term insurance for a
    work related injury and came back to work on jan 5, 2008 and two weeks later i was given a retirement package after working 15 1/2 years with the company.
    i applied for unemployment, then was denied as i did
    not have enough weeks to qualify. i appealed the decision and had them treat the disability as if i was
    on workmen’s comp. the decision was made in december 2008 and my start date for payment was
    feb 16, 2009. but when it came to the start date of
    my unemployment, they said it is feb 16, 2008. why
    is there such a big difference.

  • EI in Canada has annoyed so many people that it raises concerns and questions for the future generation(s) to come. The eligibility in order to be consider an applicant of EI is to meet a minimum of 900 working hours. This in itself has acted as a tool to cut out individuals that preform precarious work, part-time work, self-employment, casual, summer, students, etc. The EI system is an intangible method to categorize individuals by outcasting them from basic and essential services they need. If EI were to improve and become more in frame with accomodation and eligibility, the rise of poverty wouldn’t be soo much atleast here in Toronto. I don’t see anything progressing in the long-run, but I know this has already caused detrimental effects on individuals givin the economic state we are in.

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