The number of Canadians receiving regular employment insurance (EI) payments was stable in December.
The latest month of data from Statistics Canada shows little change from the previous month as notable decreases in five provinces offset increases in three.
New Brunswick (down 4%) and PEI (down 3.3%) led the provinces posting fewer recipients while increases were recorded in Alberta (up 2.7%), Saskatchewan (up 1.4%), and British Columbia (up 1.4%).
Overall, 448,000 Canadians were receiving regular EI benefits.
Year-over-year there were fewer recipients nationwide as 6 provinces saw decreases to offset increases in British Columbia and Ontario.
Looking ahead, the number of EI claims, which are an indicator of those that may become beneficiaries, was little changed in December compared to November with 244,600.
There were decreases in Nova Scotia (-4.0%), Ontario (-2.9%), Prince Edward Island (-2.7%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.9%). In contrast, the number of claims in December increased in Manitoba (+4.3%), British Columbia (+4.2%) and Quebec (+1.4%).
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