In March, 388,000 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, little changed from February. The number of regular EI recipients in March 2023 was the lowest on record (outside of the period when the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit was in place from March to September 2020). The number of people collecting regular EI benefits fell by 26.7% (-141,000) in the 12 months to March 2023.
According to the Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate held steady at a near-record low of 5.0% in March. Meanwhile, the proportion of the unemployed who had been out of work for 27 weeks or more—the long-term unemployed—fell from 20.3% in March 2022 to 16.0% in March 2023.
In the US in the week ending May 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 242,000, a decrease of 22,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 264,000. The 4-week moving average was 244,250, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 245,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending May 6, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 6 was 1,799,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 6,000 from 1,813,000 to 1,807,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,812,500, a decrease of 15,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 1,500 from 1,829,500 to 1,828,000.