Reminder of 2016 legislative changes on Employment Insurance

One of the mandates of the current federal government is improving Employment Insurance (EI) services and therefore facilitate a quick transition of workforce people from one job to another. The improvements that have been scheduled for implementation during 2016 were:

A curious mind would check on the potential immediate effects of these changes in legislation on the labour market results. Figure 1 illustrates the total EI beneficiaries at the national and provincial level between August 2011 and August 2016. Unfortunately, the monthly data on the total EI beneficiaries doesn’t show any significant behavioral change during 2016 relative to the past. At the national level, one could see a growing trend of the total EI beneficiaries starting at the end of 2013-beginning of 2014. Not the same trend is observed for Ontario. On the contrary, at the provincial level one could observe a constant diminishing trend of the of EI beneficiaries between August 2011 and August 2016.

In London Economic Region, the EI beneficiaries’ results evolved somewhat similar to the EI beneficiaries’ results at the provincial level. However, the diminishing trend in the total number of EI beneficiaries across time seems more tilted than at provincial level (see Figure 2).

Although these legislative changes in EI were intended to offer more flexibility and extended support to those in between jobs, there are no visible signs that the provincial and regional labour markets have been majorly disturbed. Hopefully, in time job seekers and employers will become more educated about these legislative changes and will make the best use of them.

Total EI beneficiaries in Canada and Ontario up to August 2016

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 276-0035

Figure 1


Total EI beneficiaries in London Economic Region up to August 2016

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 276-0035


Figure 2