A new report on Employment Insurance demonstrates that the recession is hitting Canadian workers hard. The report, Employment Insurance Levels on the Rise- this is more than a “technical recession”, highlights that most workers now do not receive any EI benefits when they lose their jobs.
Current recession is real
The report provides solid proof that we are in a recession, despite claims of the Harper Conservatives that this recession is “technical” and not widespread. The effects of the recession are very real for Canadian families and communities.
- The number of EI claims have risen 17% in a year-to-year comparison between June 2014 and June 2015.
- EI claims have risen in several provinces, which shows that the recession is not just affecting the oil sector and Alberta.
Most unemployed workers can’t get benefits
The report also confirms that most workers who lose their jobs don’t qualify for EI and therefore aren’t captured in the analysis.
“Many workers aren’t covered by the EI system and that means the real costs of unemployment are much worse,” says Paul Tulloch, the report’s author. “The real problem is underemployment and a lack of good jobs”. Tulloch, a former Statistics Canada economist, has more than twenty years’ experience working with labour statistics.
The rate of unemployed workers who can receive EI has fallen to a record low in recent years because of the Harper Conservatives’ EI reforms. It means that as more workers find themselves out of a job, many will not get the help they need. This impacts families and communities across Canada.
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The upcoming election is the opportunity to change this.