The line for unemployment benefits got shorter in November, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
The number of workers receiving jobless benefits dropped by 5.4% during the month to under 400,000.
“This was the lowest number of EI beneficiaries on record since comparable data became available in 1997, outside of the summer of 2020 when the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit was in place,” StatsCan said.
The declines in EI beneficiaries were strongest in Quebec (9.5%) and Ontario (6.7%), reflecting an ongoing trend.
“Both provinces have seen steady declines in the number of regular EI recipients since July 2022,” StatsCan said.
The decline was also somewhat larger for women, at 6.0%, than it was for men, 5.1%, it noted.
Previously, the agency also reported that the unemployment rate declined by 0.1% in November to 5.1%. And, it pointed to a decline in the number of terminated workers as a likely driver of the drop in jobless benefit claims.
StatsCan reported that the number of workers who were terminated in the past 12 months was down by 3.2% in November — 18.6% below its level in the comparable month before the pandemic hit (November 2019).
“This decline in the number of people leaving a job involuntarily could have contributed to the historic lows in the number of people receiving regular EI benefits in November 2022,” StatsCan said.