Canadian Social Research Links

Employment Insurance (EI)

Sites de recherche sociale au Canada

L'assurance-emploi


Updated March 26, 2017
Page révisée le 26 mars 20
17


[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]


The links immediately below will take you
directly to a specific section on the page you're now reading:

* Latest Statistics Canada Reports and studies on EI and EI coverage incl. job vacancies
+ misc. reports about, and media coverage of, EI
<================================UPDATED March 26, 2017

* The official EI page from Employment and Social Development Canada

* Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report 2012/13

* July 2014 : Atlantic Premiers release report on impact of EI changes

* The Employment Insurance Program in Canada: How it Works
* The History of Unemployment Insurance (1940 to 1993) + related historical resources
---
Also lower down on this page:
* Sept. 17, 2012: Michael Mendelson of the Caledon Institute says that it's not in Quebec's best interest to take back Employment Insurance.
* May 3, 2012 : Commentary by Jim Sayre of the Community Legal Assistance Society in Vancouver on Employment Insurance amendments in BILL C-38
* Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force
* International links section of this page


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*** Page 1 - Agriculture and Agri-Food to Environment
*** Page 2 - Finance
*** Page 3 - Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs

- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) - info about Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and other social programs - and where I worked...
- Health Links - Canada/International - info about Health Canada and related stuff from the U.S. and elsewhere in the world
- Employment Insurance in Canada - selected reports and other related links


 
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This page is a collection of links to reports and media articles about Employment Insurance (EI).
Except for the first part of this page (the yellow boxes below), links are more or less in reverse chronological order.

The links in the yellow box below are to the "official" EI program sub-site on the ESDC website and the latest EI Monitoring Assessment Report, and the rest of this page comprises links to a selection of related articles and reports from various other sources.


The "official" Employment Insurance website:


From
Employment and Social Development Canada:

[ http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml ]
(formerly Human Resources and Skills Development Canada)

---
NOTE: The Department's name changed to Employment and Social Development Canada in July 2013.
Some of the links below may change in the coming months as the Department's website is updated.
---

Employment Insurance
[ http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/ei/index.shtml ]
The EI program provides temporary financial assistance for individuals between jobs, who cannot work due to sickness, childbirth or parenting, and for those providing care to a family member who is gravely ill.

- includes links to:

Benefits:
* EI Regular Benefits
* Maternity and Parental Benefits
* Sickness Benefits
* Compassionate Care Benefits
* Special benefits for self-employed people
* Fishing Benefits
Reports:
* Annual EI Monitoring and Assessment Reports (2011 - 2012 - 2012/2013)
* Summary of the Actuarial Report on the EI Premium Rate
* Previous Maximum Insurable Earnings Annual Reports (2011 - 2012 - 2013)
* Employment Insurance Act and Regulations
* EI 2011 Tracking Survey

---

Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report 2012/13
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/ei/reports/mar2013/index.shtml
Recommended Reading!
Partial Table of Contents:
(Click the link above for the complete TOC.)
Executive Highlights
Chapter 1: Labour Market Context
Chapter 2: Impacts and Effectiveness of Employment Insurance Part I
Chapter 3: Impacts and Effectiveness of Employment Benefits and Support Measures
Chapter 4: Program Administration
Annexes
Annex 1 - Key Labour Market Statistics
Annex 2 - Income Benefits Data Tables
Annex 3 - EBSMs Data Tables
Annex 4 - Key Program Administration Data and Results
Annex 5 - EI Finances
Annex 6 - Key Studies Referenced in Chapter 2
Annex 7 - Recent Changes to the EI Program
---
EI historians take note:
Annex 7 contains two important sections (esp. the first):
--- Major Changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) Program since 1996/97
--- Economic Action Plan (EAP) Temporary Employment Insurance (EI) Measures
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/ei/reports/mar2013/annex7.shtml

Related links:

* Canada Employment Insurance Commission
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/ei/commission/index.shtml

* Employment Insurance Act
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-5.6/index.html

* Employment Insurance Regulations
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-96-332/index.html

---

Source:
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml
ESDC is responsible for the administration of EI in Canada
.



Selected reports and media articles on the
subject of Employment Insurance in Canada:
(in reverse chronological order)

From StatCan:

March 23, 2017
Employment Insurance, January 2017
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170323/dq170323a-eng.htm
In January, 567,900 people received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, little changed from the previous month (-1,900 or -0.3%).

Guide to Employment Insurance Statistics, 2016
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/73-506-g/73-506-g2016001-eng.htm
November 22, 2016

November 16, 2016
Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2015
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/161116/dq161116b-eng.htm
The eligibility rate for receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits was 82.8% in 2015, little changed from 83.1% in 2014. In all, 848,000 unemployed people contributed to the EI program in 2015, as they paid premiums in the 12 months preceding their unemployment spell. This represented 65.3% of all unemployed, the largest share since 2009. From 2014 to 2015, the proportion of unemployed people who contributed to the EI program rose by 4.3 percentage points, largely reflecting an increase in the number of unemployed people who had worked in the previous 12 months.

October 20, 2016
Study: International students in Canadian Universities, 2004/2005 to 2013/2014
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/161020/dq161020e-eng.htm
The international student population at Canadian universities almost doubled in the decade from 2004/2005 to 2013/2014, rising from 66,000 students to 124,000. In 2013/2014, international students represented 11% of all students on Canadian campuses, up from 7% in 2004/2005.
To put this growth in perspective, the international student population at Canadian universities grew 88% from 2004/2005 to 2013/2014, while the comparable growth rate for Canadian students was 22%.

August 11, 2016
Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, First quarter 2016
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/160811/dq160811a-eng.htm
Job vacancy rate declines in most provinces and territories
From the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, the job vacancy rate declined in nine provinces and two territories, with the largest decreases occurring in Alberta and Saskatchewan. At the same time, the job vacancy rate increased in Nunavut, and was little changed in New Brunswick.
The job vacancy rate refers to the share of jobs that are unfilled out of all payroll jobs available. It represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand, that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.

Here’s why the EI system is not working and what can be done:
http://rabble.ca/news/2016/05/heres-why-ei-system-not-working-and-what-can-be-done
May 2016

Consulting with Canadians - Employment Insurance Service Quality Review
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/consultations/ei/service_quality_review.page
May 2016
About this consultation:
Millions of Canadians rely on the Government of Canada to provide them with easy access to the services and benefits to which they are entitled. They expect quality and fast service from their government—whether the service is provided online, over the phone or in person. According to Service Canada data, too many Canadians are not receiving the level of service they expect.

How to Participate in the consultation:
Click the link above, then (on the next page) scroll down for information to help you to share your views online (before August 31, 2016) or send your comments via email or attend a town hall meeting.

Source:
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml
ESDC is in the process of moving its services and information to Canada.ca
ESDC's current website will remain available until the move to Canada.ca [ http://canada.ca/en/index.html ] is complete.

---

Federal government launches Employment Insurance services review
http://goo.gl/4jZsy6
May 12, 2016
The Government of Canada launches consultation to improve Employment Insurance services - Parliamentary Secretaries, Member of Parliament lead EI Service Quality Review
OTTAWA, May 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Millions of Canadians rely on the Government of Canada to provide them with easy access to the services and benefits to which they are entitled. They expect quality and fast service from their government—whether the service is provided online, over the phone or in person. According to Service Canada data, too many Canadians are not receiving the level of service they expect. When someone loses a job through no fault of their own or experiences a major life event, they should not have to wait weeks, even months, to receive support and benefits from a program that they paid premiums for as workers. The Government must make it easier for them to access these services and programs.

Source:
Newswire
http://www.newswire.ca/

Earlier related link:
Federal government launches Employment Insurance services review

http://goo.gl/4jZsy6
May 12, 2016

Associated Links

Employment Insurance Service Quality Review
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/consultations/ei/service_quality_review.page?&_ga=1.85396636.400863095.1428440030

Employment Insurance Service Quality Review Online Survey
https://hrsdc-rhdcc.sondages-surveys.ca/s/employment-insurance_assurance-emploi/?l=en

Statistics Canada
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

What's new from The Daily:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/dai-quo/a-daily-quotidien-eng.htm

June 23, 2016
Employment Insurance, April 2016
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/160623/dq160623a-eng.htm
In April, 538,400 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down slightly from the previous month (-4,900 or -0.9%).

Related CANSIM Tables:

* Table 276-0003 : http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=276-0003&p2=31
* Table 276-0004 : http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=276-0004&p2=31
* Table 276-0011 : http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=276-0011&p2=31
* Table 276-0020 to 276-0022 : http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=276-0020..276-0022&p2=31
* Table 276-0030 to 276-0032 : http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=276-0030..276-0032&p2=31
* Table 276-0040 : http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=276-0040&p2=31
* Table 276-0041 : http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=276-0041&p2=31

More info about Employment Insurance
from Service Canada
:
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/ei/index.shtml

Related subjects:

Labour
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2621&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2627&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Non-wage benefits
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2628&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

January 21, 2016
Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2014

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/160121/dq160121b-eng.htm

Family Violence in Canada, 2014 (Infographic)
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-627-m/11-627-m2016001-eng.htm

November 23, 2015
Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2014
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/151123/dq151123b-eng.htm
The rate of eligibility for receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits was 83.1% in 2014, down from 85.8% in 2013, but in line with the 83.0% average seen over the previous 10 years. The decline in 2014 was most notable among youths aged 15 to 24 and men of all ages. To be eligible to receive regular benefits, unemployed individuals must have contributed to the EI program, met the criteria for job separation and accumulated enough insurable hours.

The local unemployment rate and permanent retirement
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-006-x/2015001/article/14155-eng.htm
By Diane Galarneau, Martin Turcotte, Yves Carrière and Eric Fecteau
April 22, 2015
* Overview
* Introduction
* Lower unemployment rates are linked to higher expected retirement ages
* The expected retirement age is higher in the Prairies
* The impact of the local unemployment rate is confirmed
* Other factors influence retirement
* References
* Data sources, methods and definitions
* Notes

Source:
Insights on Canadian Society
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?objId=75-006-X&objType=2&lang=en&limit=0

April 21, 2015
Job vacancies in brief, three-month average ending in January 2015

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150421/dq150421b-eng.htm
Canadian businesses reported 225,000 job vacancies in January, up 33,000 compared with January 2014. For every job vacancy, there were 5.5 unemployed people, down from 6.8 the same month one year earlier. This decline in the ratio was the result of both fewer unemployed people and more job vacancies.

March 19, 2015
Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2013

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150319/dq150319d-eng.htm
The Employment Insurance Coverage Survey provides a meaningful picture of who does or does not have access to EI benefits among the jobless and those in a situation of underemployment. The survey also covers access to maternity and parental benefits.

The public use microdata files from the Employment Insurance Coverage Survey are now available for 2013.

March 17, 2015
Job vacancies, three-month average ending in December 2014

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150317/dq150317b-eng.htm
Canadian businesses reported 233,000 job vacancies in December, up 30,000 compared with 12 months earlier. For every job vacancy, there were 5.0 unemployed people, down from 6.2 in December 2013. This decline in the ratio was the result of both fewer unemployed people and more job vacancies.

January 19, 2015
Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2013
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150119/dq150119b-eng.htm
The rate of eligibility for receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in 2013 was 85.8%, up from 81.9% in 2012. To be eligible to receive regular benefits, unemployed individuals must have contributed to the EI program, met the criteria for job separation and accumulated enough insurable hours
(For more qualitative info, click the link above and scroll down to "Note to readers").

October 10, 2014
Labour Force Survey, September 2014

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/141010/dq141010a-eng.htm
Employment increased by 74,000 in September, nearly all in full-time work. This pushed the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 6.8%, the lowest since December 2008.

Source:
Statistics Canada

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html

Related link:

Job Numbers Surprise
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2014/10/10/job-numbers-surprise/
By Angella MacEwen
October 10, 2014
For the first time in a while, Statistics Canada gives us some good news on the job front. 74,000 net new jobs added in September, certainly nothing to sneeze at. Still, we would need to keep this pace up every month for the next year to close the employment gap left by the last recession.

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

From the
Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO):

Response on the financing of Employment
Insurance and recent measures
(PDF - 304K, 10 pages)
http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/files/files/EI_response_EN.pdf
October 9, 2014
A number of concerns surrounding the Employment Insurance program have been communicated to PBO by Members of Parliament.  

This report answers the following questions on EI administration:  
Question 1:  How far above forecast break-even rates are legislated EI premium rates in 2015 and 2016?
Question 2:  How much extra revenue does this contribute to the budget outlook?
Question 3:  What is the job impact of the Small Business Job Credit and the EI premium rate freeze?  
Question 4:  Why has access to employment insurance fallen?
Question 5:  By how much could access or benefits be increased at current EI premium rates while keeping the account in balance?
Question 6:  What was the cost of the Canadian Employment Insurance Financing Board?

Related links from the PBO:

Fiscal Sustainability Report 2014
http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/files/files/FSR_2014.pdf
September 30, 2014
This report provides an assessment of the long-term sustainability of government finances for three government sub-sectors: the federal government; subnational governments consisting of provinces, territories, local, and aboriginal governments; and the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans.

Expenditure Monitor: 2014-15 Q1 (PDF - 340K, 10 pages)
http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/files/files/Expenditure_Monitor_2014_15Q1_EN.pdf
September 25, 2014
This note presents detailed analysis of Government spending for the first three months of the fiscal year, highlighting the success of ongoing spending restraint and implementation of the fiscal and economic plan presented in Budget 2014.

Source:
Parliamentary Budget Officer

http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/
The mandate of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) is to provide independent analysis to Parliament on the state of the nation’s finances, the government’s estimates and trends in the Canadian economy; and upon request from a committee or parliamentarian, to estimate the financial cost of any proposal for matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction.

---

Other related links

From
CBC News :
http://www.cbc.ca/news/

Northerners stand to lose $7M with new EI changes
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/northerners-stand-to-lose-7m-with-new-ei-changes-1.2795805
Changes that divide each territory into 2 labour market zones take effect Sunday
October 10, 2014
Northern residents may lose more than $7 million in employment insurance benefits with changes to EI rules coming into effect this weekend. The changes take effect Sunday and affect Yukon, N.W.T., Nunavut and Prince Edward Island.

Pricey EI rate cut will yield only 800 jobs: PBO report
Canadian Federation of Independent Business says it lobbied for EI measures after government "gutted" temporary foreign workers program.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pricey-ei-rate-cut-will-yield-only-800-jobs-pbo-report-1.2793591
By Louise Elliott
October 9, 2014
It was touted as a job-creator in a tough job market, but new evidence suggests the Conservative plan to cut Employment Insurance premiums for small business won't achieve its stated goal of making it easier for employers to hire new workers. And the head of a key lobby group acknowledges the decision by the government may be linked to other political considerations. In a new report, the parliamentary budget officer, Jean-Denis Fréchette, says the small business job credit announced last month by Finance Minister Joe Oliver would generate only 800 new jobs over two years — 200 new full-time equivalent jobs in 2015 and 600 new jobs in 2016.

---

From the
Toronto Star:
http://www.thestar.com/

Canadians overpaying EI to pad surplus, budget watchdog says
Latest EI cuts for small business will create few jobs, parliamentary budget officer says.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/10/09/canadians_overpaying_ei_to_pad_federal_surplus_budget_watchdog_says.html
The federal government’s handling of employment insurance will reduce job creation by 9,000 jobs over the next two years and force Canadians to pay $4.5 billion more in EI premiums than needed, the parliamentary budget officer says.

---

From the
Chronicle-Herald (Halifax):

http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/

Tories using Employment Insurance to pad books by $5 billion, report says
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1242520-tories-using-ei-to-pad-books-by-5-billion-report-says
By Paul Mcleod
October 9, 2014
OTTAWA — Artificially high employment insurance premiums will cost thousands of jobs while temporarily padding Ottawa’s books by billions of dollars, according to a new report by Canada’s financial watchdog. The Conservative government already knew it was facing an EI fund surplus and will lower premiums for some employers through the small business job credit. Parliamentary budget officer Jean-Denis Frechette found the credit will create only 200 jobs next year and 600 in 2016. But keeping premiums artificially high will cost 2,000 jobs next year and 8,000 jobs in 2016, Frechette found.

From the
Business News Network:

Three reasons why employment insurance is broken
http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/7/25/Three-reasons-EI-is-broken-BNN-panel-.aspx
By Jeff Lagerquist
July 25, 2014

Does employment insurance really help those it’s intended to, or is the system in need of an overhaul? “If someone asks me what the problem is with EI, I say how long do you have?” said Matthew Mendelsohn, the founding director of the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation.

He was joined on BNN by Armine Yalnizyan, a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Arthur Sweetman, an economics professor at McMaster University to get the bottom this highly contentious issue.

Here’s a list of the top three problems our panelists have with the EI system.
#1. Since it’s a federally mandated program, all Canadians are treated equally.
#2. When the number of people receiving EI decreases it DOES NOT mean employment is increasing.
#3. The EI system was designed for the modern labour economy.

NOTE: The above link ("Three reasons...") includes a video (duration 7:51) of the panel discussion, with more info on each of the three reasons why Employment Insurance is broken.

Source:
Business News Network
http://www.bnn.ca/

Related Story from BNN:

How temporary foreign worker program masks EI issues
http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/7/12/Does-temporary-foreign-worker-program-mask-EI-overuse.aspx
July 12, 2014
Forget reforming the temporary foreign worker program—it’s the employment insurance program that needs fixing, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, an organization that advocates for lower taxes.



From the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:

June/July 2014
Atlantic Premiers release report on impact of EI changes
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/atlantic-premiers-release-report-on-impact-of-ei-changes-1.2692012

Report “slams changes to EI program”
http://www.troymedia.com/2014/07/06/atlantic-premiers-report-slams-changes-to-ei-program/

Report says rule changes “created fear among workers”:
http://www.thetelegram.com/Business/2014-07-01/article-3783500/Confusing-EI-rules-created-fear-among-Atlantic-Canadian-workers%3A-report/1

Report is “spot on”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/ei-report-spot-on-says-liberal-mp-dominic-leblanc-1.2694175

Report “vindicates Kenney”
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Editorials/2014-07-04/article-3785643/EI-report-vindicates-Kenney/1

CUPE “disappointed” with report
http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?mn=2&id=47327&latest=1

Links compiled by
Jennefer Laidley
Policy & Research Analyst
Income Security Advocacy Centre
http://www.incomesecurity.org/


Supplementary Measures of Unemployment in Canada
HTML version :
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2013-14-e.htm
PDF version (427K, 8 pages) : http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2013-14-e.pdf
By Emmanuel Preville
6 March 2013
(...) The official unemployment rate is the standard measure of what constitutes unemployment. But other dimensions of the labour market can be explored by analyzing supplementary rates. Data on subpopulations such as involuntary part-timers and discouraged searchers provide a broader understanding of the state of the labour market.
Contents:
1 Introduction
2 The Official Unemployment Rate and Supplementary Unemployment Rates
3 Long-Term Unemployment
4 Non-Participants and Hidden Unemployment
5 Total Underutilization
6 International Unemployment Indicators
7 Conclusion

Source:
Library of Parliament Research Publications

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/LOP/VirtualLibrary/ResearchPublications-e.asp
Parliament of Canada
http://www.parl.gc.ca/

New from the
Progressive Economics Forum
:
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/relentless/

Flaherty’s Funny Math with the Employment Insurance Surplus
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2013/12/06/flahertys-funny-math-with-the-ei-surplus/
By Angella MacEwen
December 6, 2013
The Parliamentary Budget Office has come out with a report [see the next two links below] suggesting that the Conservatives will likely balance the budget ahead of schedule. But, and it’s a big but, if there were no EI surplus, there would be no balanced budget in 2016. And the annual surplus in the EI Operating Account is no small potatoes – it’s forecast to be at least $3.5 Billion in 2014. But this forecast is based on an EI coverage rate of 41%, and recently it’s been more like 38%, meaning the 2014 EI surplus will probably end up being over $4 Billion.

---

Related links from the
Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO):

Revised PBO Outlook and Assessment of
the 2013 Update of Economic and Fiscal
Projections
(PDF - 796K, 16 pages)
http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/files/files/Revised_EFOU_2013.pdf ]
December 5, 2013
Following the publication of PBO’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook Update 2013, Finance Canada released its 2013 Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections. This report updates PBO’s economic and fiscal outlook to include recent policy decisions and the updated Public Accounts of Canada 2013. This report also compares Finance Canada’s projections with PBO’s and discusses the assumptions and methodologies that drive their similarities and differences.

Source:
Parliamentary Budget Office
(PBO)

http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/

The mandate of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) is to provide independent analysis to Parliament on the state of the nation’s finances, the government’s estimates and trends in the Canadian economy; and upon request from a committee or parliamentarian, to estimate the financial cost of any proposal for matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction.

--------------------------------------

From The Globe and Mail:

Conservatives keeping EI rates high to pad surplus, budget watchdog says
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/flahertys-planned-surplus-relies-on-keeping-ei-rates-too-high-watchdog-says/article15781473/
By Bill Curry
December 5, 2013
The Parliamentary Budget Office says a large part of Ottawa’s planned surplus is based on keeping Employment Insurance premiums at higher rates than necessary. Thursday’s PBO report takes a close look at the impact of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s Nov. 12 economic update and the minister’s recent omnibus budget bill, C-4, as well as the government’s Public Accounts.

296 comments about this article
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/flahertys-planned-surplus-relies-on-keeping-ei-rates-too-high-watchdog-says/article15781473/comments/

Source:
The Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

From
Statistics Canada:

November 15, 2013
Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2012
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/131115/dq131115b-eng.htm
The rate of eligibility for receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in 2012 was 81.9%, up from 78.4% in 2011 and similar to rates observed prior to the 2008-2009 recession.
- includes links to four tables:

* Coverage and eligibility of the unemployed for Employment Insurance benefits, Canada, 2012
* Coverage and eligibility of the unemployed for Employment Insurance benefits by sex, Canada, 2012
* Coverage and eligibility of the unemployed for Employment Insurance benefits, by age group, Canada, 2012
* Coverage and eligibility of the unemployed for Employment Insurance benefits, by province, 2012

Previous release of this report:

Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2011
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121105/dq121105b-eng.htm

Related subjects:

Labour
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2621&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2627&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Non-wage benefits
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2628&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

October 22, 2013
Job vacancies in brief, three-month average ending in July 2013
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/131022/dq131022b-eng.htm
In July, there were 210,000 job vacancies among Canadian businesses, down 54,000 from July 2012. There were 6.5 unemployed people for every job vacancy, up from 5.2 one year earlier. The increase in the ratio of unemployment to job vacancies was all the result of the decline in job vacancies. The national job vacancy rate was 1.4% in July, down from 1.8% 12 months earlier.

CANSIM Tables 284-0001 to 284-0004 : http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=284-0001..284-0004&p2=31

Related subjects:

Labour
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2621&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Employment and unemployment
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=1803&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Industries
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2623&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Related link:

No Widespread Labour Shortage, widespread information gaps.
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2013/10/24/no-widespread-labour-shortage-widespread-information-gaps/
By Angella MacEwen
October 24, 2013
A TD Economics Special Report released in October 2013 [ (PDF) : http://goo.gl/O21yOP ] debunked the popular economic myth spread by Minister Kenney that there are too many jobs without people [ http://goo.gl/gTXqiJ ] . The report looks at changes in employment, unemployment, job vacancy rates, and wages. Job vacancy rates are higher for trades occupations in Western Canada, but overall job vacancy rates are low.
(...)
Highlighting the inadequacy of current labour market information, the most recent data on job vacancies was released by Statistics Canada on the same day. It tells us that nationally there are 6.5 unemployed persons for every job vacancy.

On October 16, the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) [ http://www.incomesecurity.org/ ] and Niagara North Community Legal Assistance [ http://www.niagaranorthlegal.com/ ] will go before the Federal Court of Appeal to argue that 102 seasonal agricultural workers were wrongly denied EI parental benefits.

These workers are an essential part of the Canadian labour force.
They deserve the same protections as any other workers in Canada.

More information:

Migrant Agricultural Workers challenge unjust denial of Employment Insurance benefits
Bulletin (Word file --- 78K, 2 pages)
http://www.incomesecurity.org/documents/MigrantWorkersEIparentalbulletinOct12013.doc

Not EI as such, but definitely relevant:

Unemployment is higher than you think.
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2013/09/18/unemployment-is-higher-than-you-think/
By Angella MacEwen
September 18, 2013
Every month, Statistics Canada comes out with the unemployment rate, and every month it gets a lot of attention. But the unemployment rate provides quite limited information about the actual health of the labour market. The addition of two other pieces of information nearly doubles the unemployment rate: the proportion of the labour market employed part-time but looking for more work, and the proportion that would like a job but aren’t actively looking for work, and so aren’t officially counted as being in the labour market.

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

July 5, 2013
Labour Force Survey, June 2013
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130705/dq130705a-eng.htm
In June, employment was virtually unchanged and the unemployment rate remained at 7.1%. In the first half of 2013, employment growth averaged 14,000 per month, slower than the average of 27,000 in the last six months of 2012.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Related link from the Progressive Economics Forum:
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

No News is Bad News for Canada’s Job Market
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2013/07/05/no-news-is-bad-news-for-canadas-job-market/
By Erin Weir
July 5, 2013 (incl. July 7 update + more related links)
Today’s job numbers are remarkably similar to last month’s figures. Total employment as well as employment in most sectors and industries was virtually unchanged. Stagnation is bad news given our growing population and that 1.4 million Canadians remain unemployed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


From the
Internet Archive:
http://archive.org/

The History of Unemployment Insurance (1940 to 1993)
http://web.archive.org/web/20020804170133/http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/ae-ei/hist/history_of_unemployment_insurance.shtml
Excerpt/paraphrase from the Foreword:
This book is a general account of legislative and program changes to the Canadian Unemployment Insurance program from 1940 to 1993. While it contains considerable detail, it does not attempt to list every regulatory change or operational innovation. It is meant to help people understand the history of the program, as well as the social, economic and policy forces that have helped shape UI. This book builds on A Chronology of Response: The Evolution of Unemployment Insurance from 1940 to 1980.
(...)
In 1993, the Department of Human Resources Development, which had assumed responsibility for UI as a result of a federal departmental reorganization, decided to update and reissue the history to also include UI developments from 1980 to 1993.
Recommended reading for UI/EI historians!

---

Version française:
Historique de l'assurance-chômage
(1940 à 1993)
http://web.archive.org/web/20020612232858/http://hrdc.gc.ca/ae-ei/hist/historique_de_lassurance-chomage.shtml

------------------------------------------------------

Major Changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) Program since 1996/97
+
Economic Action Plan (EAP) Temporary Employment Insurance (EI) Measures
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/ei/reports/mar2013/annex7.shtml

Source:
Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report 2012/13

http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/ei/reports/mar2013/index.shtml

------------------------------------------------------

Cuts come to employment insurance (video, duration 7:16)
CBC National with Peter Mansbridge
http://www.cbc.ca/player/Digital+Archives/Economy+and+Business/ID/1863477440/
May 14, 1996
In 1996, benefits were slashed and qualifying periods increased for Canada's unemployed.

------------------------------------------------------

Historical and contextual information on Unemployment Insurance / Employment Insurance
- this link takes you further down on the page you're now reading, where you'll find some historical nuggets among the CBC Digital Archives TV clips on unemployment and (Un)Employment Insurance, some going back over half a century. You'll also find links to selected key documents in the evolution of (un)employment insurance in Canada, such as:
* the 1962 Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Unemployment Insurance Act (chaired by Ernest C. Gill),
* the 1986 Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Unemployment Insurance (chaired by Claude Forget),
* papers/articles on EI by Richard Shillington (on EI coverage), the [Ontario] Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Statistics Canada and more...

 

---

Employment Insurance: Ten Changes in 2012–2013
http://parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2013-03-e.htm
By André Léonard, Social Affairs Division
23 January 2013
Contents:
For each of the following ten changes, this report presents:
* a description of the change
* a rationale for the change
* criticism of the change

The ten changes:
1 Employment Insurance Financing
2 Definitions of “Suitable Employment” and “Reasonable and Customary Efforts” to Obtain Suitable Employment
3 Connecting Employment Insurance Claimants With Available Jobs
4 Calculating Benefits
5 Earnings Permitted While Receiving Benefits
6 Dealing With Complaints
7 Bill C-44
8 Persons Not Authorized to Remain in Canada and the Collection of Overpayments
9 Hiring Credit for Small Business
10 Changes to the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations
11 Conclusion

TIP : Scroll to the last section of the report for links to 40 related documents.

From the
Toronto Star:

Employment Insurance cuts are another blow to the jobless : A cut in employment insurance benefits, buried in
last year’s massive omnibus federal budget bill, took effect Sunday. Thousands will be hurt.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/04/10/ei_cuts_are_another_blow_to_the_jobless_goar.html
By Carol Goar
April 10, 2013
Just when it seemed safe to put Jim Flaherty’s surprise-loaded 2012 budget behind us, it delivered a nasty aftershock. Labour activists knew it was coming, but most Canadians didn’t. Buried in last spring’s 425-page omnibus budget legislation was a change in employment insurance (EI) rules that will hurt thousands of laid-off workers. It took effect on April 7.

Unions and community groups pleaded with the government not to implement the measure. They failed. So last Sunday, employment insurance benefits in two-thirds of the country were quietly reduced. Existing recipients were spared but new EI claimants — starting with the 54,500 workers who lost their jobs in March — will be subject to tougher rules. Most will get less support.

Source:
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

From CBC News - Montreal:
http://www.cbc.ca/montreal/

Thousands rally against federal government's Employment Insurance reform:
People in Quebec, Ottawa and New Brunswick protest for a common cause

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/02/23/quebec-employment-insurance-protests.html
February 23, 2013
Thousands of protesters across the province of Quebec, in Ottawa and in Tracadie, N.B., took part in demonstrations denouncing the government's employment insurance reform today.
The government's changes to the EI program compel laid-off seasonal workers to go farther afield to look for work and to accept jobs that pay as little as 70 per cent of their previous hourly wage — providing that is not below the province's minimum wage rate.

Ottawa changed admission criteria for EI programs last January.
People looking for work will be urged to accept work located within a 100-kilometre radius from their home.

From the Progressive Economics Forum:
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

Employment Insurance (EI) : It’s all in the details
What not to say in an interview if you’re on EI, and other nightmares
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2013/02/19/ei-its-all-in-the-details/
By Angella MacEwen
February 19, 2013
The latest detail to emerge about the recent changes to EI is from the Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles (see the link below). The Digest is a guide to enforcing Employment Insurance, with definitions of key terms, and elaborates on expectations of EI claimants and penalties for errors. In Chapter 9, Refusal of Employment, Service Canada outlines several actions that are equivalent to refusing employment (including pregnancy or a pending return to former employment or preferred occupation).
(...)
The undemocratic manner that the changes were introduced – in a mammoth omni-budget bill, with no stakeholder consultations, is outrageous in and of itself. Employers and employees pay for EI, and changing it without consultation is simply wrong. What’s worse, the lack of thought and consultation is reflected in the many undesirable consequences of the bill.

Also by Angella MacEwen:

Getting the facts straight: EI changes hurt unemployed workers
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2013/02/15/getting-the-facts-straight-on-ei-changes/
February 15, 2013

Angella MacEwen is the Senior Economist for the Canadian Labour Congress [ http://www.canadianlabour.ca/ ].

From Service Canada:
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml

Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ei/digest/table_of_contents.shtml
The Digest of Entitlement Principles, commonly called the Digest, contains the principles applied by Human Resources and Social Development Canada when making decisions on claims for benefit under the Employment Insurance legislation.

From CBC News:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/

New Employment Insurance changes now in effect
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/01/05/pol-employment-insurance-changes-take-effect.html
January 6, 2013
Canadians who are looking for work while claiming Employment Insurance saw several changes go into effect stemming from the federal government's EI reform announced in last year's March budget.
--- 723 Comments about this article:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/01/05/pol-employment-insurance-changes-take-effect.html#socialcomments

EI claimants are “bad guys”: Diane Finley
http://sgnews.ca/2013/02/05/ei-claimants-are-bad-guys-finley/
Resources minister slags unemployed as inequality rises, poverty increases.
February 4, 2013
By Samantha Bayard and Ish Theilheimer
OTTAWA, Straight Goods News, : Although Canada's social report card ranking has been dragged down down by poverty and inequality among children and working aged adults, Canada's human resource minister has called EI claimants "bad guys."
Last Friday, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley outraged the opposition and organized labour in a response to Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain, NDP), who condemned the Conservatives for reducing EI eligibility at a time of widespread job cuts. "With respect to the employment insurance program," Finley replied, "It is very important to note that, once again, the NDP is supporting the bad guys."

- includes a four-minute video of NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash, who says that the Conservatives are ignoring the crisis of income inequality.

Source:
Straight Goods News

http://sgnews.ca/

From
Statistics Canada:

November 5, 2012
Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2011
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121105/dq121105b-eng.htm
In 2011, the rate of eligibility for receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits declined to its lowest level in nearly a decade. From 2010 to 2011, the decline was most notable among people aged 25 to 44 and women of all ages. To be eligible to receive regular benefits, unemployed individuals must have contributed to the EI program, met the criteria for job separation, and accumulated enough insurable hours.

Related links:

Fewer Unemployed Eligible for Benefits
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2012/11/05/14167/
By Angella MacEwen
November 5, 2012
The annual Employment Insurance Coverage Survey is out, here. The rate of eligibility for regular benefits from Employment Insurance is the lowest since 2003, the earliest year that there is comparable data. To qualify, a person must have worked in the past 12 months and contributed to Employment Insurance, they must have left their job for a valid reason (layoff is valid, quitting usually is not), and they must have worked between 420 & 700 hours depending on the unemployment rate in their region.

The reason for the lower eligibility rate in 2011 was an increase in the number of workers without sufficient qualifying hours. In 2011, 150,000 otherwise qualified unemployed workers did not work sufficient hours to qualify for E.I. benefits. The reason for this, Statistics Canada says, is an increase in the proportion of unemployed workers who last worked a temporary, non-seasonal job.

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum

http://www.progressive-economics.ca/relentless/

---------------

Canadians eligible for employment insurance at decade-long low
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1283165
November 5, 2012
The rate of eligibility for collecting employment insurance has plunged to its lowest level in nearly a decade and critics warn it’s only going to get worse. Statistics Canada released figures Monday that revealed of 867,000 unemployed individuals who contributed to EI in 2011, only 545,000 had worked enough hours to qualify for coverage. It’s the lowest rate — 78.4 per cent — since 2003. More part-time job losses than full-time losses are to blame because part-time workers do not accumulate enough hours, according to Statistics Canada.
Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

Opinion: Not in Quebec’s interests to take back Employment Insurance
http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Opinion+Quebec+best+interests+take+back+from+Ottawa/7244720/story.html
By Michael Mendelson
September 17, 2012
In 1940, the provinces — including Quebec — agreed to a constitutional amendment putting unemployment insurance into Ottawa’s jurisdiction. Now Pauline Marois, Quebec’s premier-elect, wants to take what is now called employment insurance back from the federal government. Ottawa should respond in the same spirit of pragmatic federalism as prevailed in 1940. If Premier Marois places a resolution before the National Assembly seeking a provincially run EI program, and if the resolution passes, the rest of Canada should agree to this request. But in Quebec’s self-interest, the legislature should turn down the premier.
(...)
It will be better for Quebec and for all of Canada if we take on the tough task of reforming EI together...

[ Author Michael Mendelson is senior scholar at the Caledon Institute of Social Policy [ http://www.caledoninst.org/ ] in Toronto, a non-partisan and non-profit institute. He is a former provincial deputy minister in Manitoba and in Ontario. ]

Source:
Montreal Gazette

http://www.montrealgazette.com/

Proposed Employment Insurance reforms miss the mark
http://www.cpj.ca/en/content/proposed-ei-reforms-miss-mark
June 19, 2012
By Simon Lewchuk

After the all-night 22-hour voting marathon in the House of Commons last week, Bill C-38, the federal government’s omnibus budget implementation bill (a.k.a. the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act) has swiftly passed 3rd reading in the House and expected to clear the Senate in the next few days. In addition to the highly publicized and controversial changes the bill will make to Old Age Security, the charitable sector, and environmental legislation, provisions in Bill C-38 will also allow for significant new reforms to Employment Insurance (EI). The message behind these reforms is loud and clear: if you’re able and available to work, don’t get too comfortable on the system.

Source:
Citizens for Public Justice
http://www.cpj.ca/

From the
Progressive Economics Forum:

Key EI Data No Longer Available
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2012/05/24/key-ei-data-no-longer-available/
By Andrew Jackson
May 24, 2012
As Heather Scoffield of Canadian Press reports here [ http://goo.gl/3gxK3 ], Statistics Canada are no longer publishing key EI data because HRSDC have stopped providing it. Data on the dollar value of EI regular benefits are not published in the monthly Statscan release, but were available each month on CANSIM… until March of this year.
(...)
The frozen tables are:
* CANSIM Table 276-0005 : Employment Insurance Program, benefit payments by province and type of benefit monthly (Dollars), Jan 1943 to Mar 2011
* CANSIM Table 276-0015 : Employment Insurance Program, weeks paid by province and type of benefit monthly (Number), Jan 1943 to Mar 2011
* CANSIM Table 276-0016 : Employment Insurance Program, average weekly payments by province and type of benefit monthly (Dollars), Jan 1942 to Mar 2011.
(These figures will be available once a year, about a year behind.)

No explanation has been provided by HRSDC.

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum

http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

From the Government of Canada:

Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs
http://goo.gl/vdreY
May 24, 2012
Ottawa, Ontario—The Government is making improvements to Employment Insurance (EI) to connect Canadians with available jobs. The announcement was made by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
Source:
Canada News Centre
http://news.gc.ca/web/index-eng.do

NOTE : Click the "Connecting Canadians" link above and then scroll down past the eight paragraphs of the announcement
and you'll find an extensive backgrounder with detailed information about all EI changes announced today.

More info on EI

Employment Insurance
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/ei/index.shtml


From CBC News:

Workers' EI history to affect claim under future rules
Rule changes expected to be in place by 2013 stem from EI reform announced in March budget
http://goo.gl/Rw5vN
By Meagan Fitzpatrick
May 24, 2012
The longer and more frequently someone is claiming employment insurance, the broader their job search will have to be and the lower the wages they must be willing to accept, according to proposed regulations outlined this morning. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley revealed details Thursday about plans to reform EI that would change the definitions of "suitable work" and "a reasonable job search."

Under new regulations expected to be in place by early 2013, the new definition of suitable employment would be based on six criteria:
* Personal circumstances.
* Working conditions.
* Hours of work.
* Commuting time.
* Type of work.
* Hourly wage.

421 comments on this article
http://goo.gl/HkQea

---

Video : Human Resources Minister Diane Finley
announces new proposed rule changes for Employment Insurance
(duration : 30 minutes)
http://www.cbc.ca/video/watch/News/Politics/ID=2238733346

---

Ottawa freezes Employment Insurance data
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/05/23/employment-insurance-data.html
May 23, 2012
Human Resources Minister Diane Finley is set to announce details Thursday morning that will alter the landscape for those collecting EI, with particular emphasis on repeat claimants.
At the same time, Finley's department has stopped sending Statistics Canada key and current information about how much federal money is flowing to each of the provinces for EI claimants, The Canadian Press has learned. Three tables normally produced with Statistics Canada's monthly EI summary are now "frozen," according to the agency website. Diane Finley's department has stopped sending Statistics Canada key and current information about how much federal money is flowing to each of the provinces for EI claimants. "Data are not available to users," a note says for the tables that normally show the total dollar amount of benefits paid to each province and the average weekly payments by province.

Source:
CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/news/

---

From CTV News:

Ottawa unveils rules to toughen Employment Insurance eligibility
http://goo.gl/UWRfq
May 24, 2012
The federal government is changing the employment insurance system to put more pressure on unemployed Canadians to accept "suitable" jobs, while also requiring employers to hire local workers before seeking foreign help. While laying out the sweeping regulatory changes, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley summed up the government's perspective in one line: "In short, we want to help Canadians who want to work."
(...)
Among the changes:
*
Recipients would be broken up into several categories, depending on how long they've been on EI and how many times they've accessed the system in the past.
* Those who have been on EI the longest would have to accept a wider range of jobs than so-called long-tenured workers on EI for the first time.
* Employers would be required to search for local unemployed workers before going offshore to hire temporary employees.
* In most cases, people on EI would be required to accept a job within an hour's drive of their home, if it paid within 70 per cent of their previous job.
* EI recipients will receive job alerts twice a day, as opposed to the current rate of three jobs per week.

The changes represent a major shift in the focus of employment insurance. Instead of functioning as an insurance service, which all workers pay into and which provides a cushion for the newly unemployed, it will transition to more of an employment service that works to quickly re-inject unemployed Canadians back into the workforce.
(...)
Under the proposed changes, EI recipients will be divided into the following categories:
*
Long-tenured workers: Those who have paid into the system for seven of the past 10 years and collected EI for less than 35 weeks in the past five years.
* Frequent claimants: Anyone who has made three or more claims and collected benefits for more than 60 weeks in the past five years.
* Occasional claimants: All other EI recipients.

114 comments on this article:
http://goo.gl/H7b5V

Source:
CTV News Ottawa

http://ottawa.ctv.ca/

---

From the Toronto Star:

EI Reform: Unemployed Canadians face crackdown under federal changes
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1183424
May24, 2012

102 comments on this article:
http://goo.gl/IT6JW

Research Funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Contradicts Key Argument For New Employment Insurance Policy
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2012/05/18/hrsdc-funded-research-contradicts-ei-policy/
B
y Andrew Jackson
May 18, 2012
According to today’s Globe, the government says that the major target of pending changes to EI is frequent claimants, who are disproportionately to be found in the high unemployment regions. This focus seems to reflect the common belief that supposedly “overgenerous” EI benefits stop some people from moving from high to low unemployment regions.

Interesting to note, then, that research commissioned by HRSDC finds that the EI program has almost no impact on inter-regional labour mobility. Here is the summary and link to the full paper, taken from the latest EI Monitoring and Assessment Report:
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/employment/ei/reports/eimar_2011/annex/annex6.shtml

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

“There is no bad job — the only bad job is not having a job”:
[Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty - May 14, 2012
]

Conservatives’ wage model will hurt all workers, unions say
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1178645
May 15, 2012
At the heart of the Harper government’s 2012 budget is a “pay-less wage model” that is unfair to temporary workers from abroad and is designed to provide business with a pool of low-paid employees across Canada, labour activists said Tuesday. Union representatives held a news conference in Ottawa to shed light on the impact on workers of far-reaching changes to Employment Insurance (EI) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program buried in the federal government’s controversial budget legislation.
(...) Of greatest concern, say critics, is the government’s move to allow employers to pay temporary highly-skilled foreign workers up to 15 per cent less (for low-skilled workers, it’s up to 5 per cent less) than the prevailing local wage under some circumstances.
(...) Concerns were also raised about measures in the budget legislation intended to pressure EI recipients to loosen their criteria for suitable employment. On Monday, Flaherty confirmed the government intends to clamp down on EI claimants. Flaherty said the government will expand the threshold for what is considered a suitable job for EI recipients. That means that those who pass up such employment could lose their EI benefits.“There’ll be a broader definition and people will have to engage more in the workforce,” Flaherty told reporters. He also indicated that he has little sympathy for EI recipients who are too picky about the jobs they will accept. “There is no bad job — the only bad job is not having a job,” he said.

108 comments about this article:
http://goo.gl/I1c2M

Source:
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

Related links:

Kicking them while they’re down
http://framedincanada.com/2012/05/15/kicking-them-when-theyre-down/
May 15, 2012
By Trish Hennessy
Four years after a global economic meltdown threw scores of Canadians out of work during one of the worst recessions ever, followed by a tepid recovery that has us still biting our fingernails, Canada’s federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty made himself available to reporters to talk jobs. Was it to announce a new jobs training program? Better income supports for the unemployed? A plan to address the hard reality that there are more unemployed than there are job vacancies? No, it was not. Instead, The finance minister took to the unbecoming practice of blaming the unemployed for their inability to find a job.
(...) That Flaherty’s remarks reveal a government out of touch with and insensitive to the reality of Canadians – especially youth shut out of the opportunities of work that their baby boomer parents never in their lifetime faced – is one thing. That any government would promote the perpetuation of bad jobs over good ones is quite another.
Source:
Framed in Canada - Trish Hennessy's blog
http://framedincanada.com/

Trish is with the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

---

By Andrew Jackson in the
Progressive Economics Forum:

Memo to Ministers: The Issue is Unemployment Not Labour Shortages
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2012/05/16/memo-to-ministers-the-issue-is-unemployment-not-labour-shortages/
May 16, 2012
The federal government is basing labour market policy on the belief that, as Jason Kenney pithily puts it in today’s Globe and Mail [ http://goo.gl/nZYxB ], there are “large and growing labour shortages.” Hence moves to bring in even more temporary foreign workers at lower than average wages, and to push EI claimants into supposedly available jobs. Not that the facts appear to matter, but it is surely notable that – even after two months of strong job growth – we still have an unemployment rate of 7.3%. The “real” unemployment rate in April – which includes involuntary part-time workers – was 10.7%, down only marginally from 11.3% a year earlier. The “real” unemployment rate for youth is still 20.4%, down a tad from 21.2% a year ago.

The most recent Statscan data on job vacancies [ http://goo.gl/HUoJP ] for the three months ending in January, 2012 show that there were 6.4 unemployed workers for every reported job vacancy. That is actually worse than the previously reported number for September when ther were 5.4 unemployed workers for every reported vacancy.

Tightening the Screws on the Unemployed
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2012/05/15/tightening-the-screws-on-the-unemployed/
May 15, 2012
The significant changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program which are to be quickly implemented through Budget 2012 with very little consultation have not received enough critical attention. First, a word on what is not in the Budget. It is disappointing, to say the least, that the government is failing to respond to the fact that less than 40% of unemployed Canadians are now qualifying for EI, well below the already low pre-recession rate. And, for all of the talk about skills shortages in Canada, it is notable that there is NO increased investment at all in EI supported training which would assist unemployed workers to find good jobs. Instead, the focus is on tightening discipline over those workers who have managed to qualify for a claim. (...) the major intent is to tighten the system to get the unemployed back to work, any work, much faster. At a minimum, these changes demand much closer consideration than they will get before the Budget Bill is passed.

Job Shortages? What Shortages?
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2012/02/08/job-shortages-what-shortages/
February 8, 2012
Sigh. Here we go again. More evidence-free corporate policy advocacy. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce [ http://www.chamber.ca/ ] put out a report today [ http://chambertop10.ca/ ] which points with alarm to labour and skills shortages, and calls for a less generous EI program to get workers to move to the supposedly available jobs.
“A growing shortage of highly skilled labour is becoming desperate, threatening our ability to keep up in a global, knowledge-based economy… Our Employment Insurance Program perpetuates regional disparity and discourages Canadians from relocating to where work is available.” Problem is that there are clearly – based on the new job vacancy data – many more unemployed workers than there are job vacancies.

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum

http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

Commentary by Jim Sayre of the
Community Legal Assistance Society in Vancouver
on Employment Insurance amendments in BILL C-38,
the federal budget implementation act
May 3
(First Reading April 26, 2012)

Bill C-38 is a 439 page (753 section) monstrosity with the meaningless title - "An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures"

Hidden behind this bland facade are two sets of EI amendments that are important enough to have been introduced separately, so they could be properly scrutinized and debated. Sections 603 to 619 amend the EI Act by changing the way benefit rates are calculated. The language is so dense that it's impossible at first glance to know whether the changes will be good, bad or neutral. My first impression is that they may be good for some claimants.

More importantly for advocates, sections 44 to 70 of Bill C-38 create a new "social security tribunal" (SST) which will replace both the EI Referees and Umpires, and also the Review Tribunals and Pension Appeals Board which hears CPP and OAS appeals. The new tribunal will have a general division where a one-person panel will hear initial appeals, and an appeal division. The AD will only hear an appeal if the claimant successfully applies for leave, which will be refused if the AD believes that the appeal has no reasonable chance of success. The grounds for appeal to the AD will be similar to those that now apply to appeals to the Umpires: natural justice, jurisdictional errors, errors of law, and perverse or capricious findings of fact.

Since the whole bill is so huge, I've separated the relevant pages; see the links below.

Summary of Bill C-38 (PDF - 127K, 10 pages)
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/C-38_summary.pdf

Division 6 : Social Security Tribunal and Service Delivery (PDF - 228K, 31 pages)
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/C-38_social-security-tribunal.pdf

Division 43 : Employment Insurance Act (PDF - 140K, 11 pages)
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/C-38_ei-act.pdf

Complete Bill C-38:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=5524772
NOTE: The complete bill includes the three preceding excerpts above, and there's a PDF link to the complete bill near the top of the page..

---

While the government is thus demolishing and rebuilding the EI appeal structure, it isn't fixing the most irrational feature of the current system - the requirement that CRA and ultimately the Tax Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear "insurability" issues.

Since the AD will no longer be made up of Federal Court judges, it appears that judicial reviews of its decisions will be decided by the Federal Court itself, not the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA).

The CBC news ticker this morning says that the government has limited debate on Bill C-38. Maybe one minute per page...?

They apparently do intend to pass it promptly. The transition provisions allow the Referees to hear any appeal filed before April 13, 2013, and the Umpires to decide any appeal heard before that date. The Referees have to decide all such appeals by the end of next October, and the Umpires by March 31, 2014. After those dates, all proceedings will be conducted by the new SST. Section 272 of Bill C-38 states that judicial reviews of SST Appeal Division's decisions will continue to be heard by the FCA under s. 28 of the FC Act.

In regard to the transition process, the key date for CPP and OAS appeals seems to be March 31, 2014.

The Liberal government flirted with changing the appeal process in the mid-90's, but they at least conducted a consultation process first, and backed off in the face of strong opposition. I have a feeling that this government isn't going to change its mind.

The current appeal processes may seem a bit quaint, but they generally work, and the problems could have been fixed without totally eliminating them. The Referees and Review Tribunal provided a element of public participation by real people in the legal system - people with worker or employer experience - that will be largely lacking in the new SST. Bill C-38 says that the no more than 74 full time members altogether (across the whole country), plus part-time members if the workload is too great. All appointments will be made by the Cabinet, with an element of patronage, perhaps,,,

So instead of the jury-like nature of Referees and Review Tribunal members, all EI, CPP and OAS appeals will be decided by professional tribunalists, with very limited oversight by an appeal division made up of other professional tribunalists rather than the independent judges who currently serve as Umpires and Pension Appeal Board members.

The SST will probably have the same jurisdiction over Charter and human rights issues as the current appeal tribunals have, since it will have the power to decide any question of law. However, s. 64(2) may be interpreted otherwise with respect to the CPP.

---
Jim Sayre is with the Community Legal Assistance Society [ http://clasbc.net/ ] in Vancouver.
If you wish to discuss the above analysis/critique with him, you can reach Jim at jsayre@clasbc.net

Canada needs temporary unemployment assistance: think tank
http://goo.gl/pJt1i
By Barrie McKenna
April 17, 2012
Young workers, women, immigrants and urban dwellers are chronic losers in Canada’s Employment Insurance regime. They’re less likely to get EI when they’re out of work, and those that do, must work much harder to earn it. A new report being released Tuesday by the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre public policy think tank says the solution is a new system of temporary unemployment assistance, or TUA.
Source:
Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

---

From the
Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation
:
http://www.mowatcentre.ca/

Workers Left Outside the Employment Insurance Umbrella:
Explanations and a Simple Solution
April 16, 2012

Complete report (PDF - 1.4MB, 41 pages)
http://mowatcentre.ca/pdfs/mowatResearch/61.pdf

Abstract (Excerpt):
http://mowatcentre.ca/research-topic-mowat.php?mowatResearchID=61
This paper makes the case for a significant adjustment to how the federal government supports the unemployed. This new study follows on the heels of the Mowat Centre EI Task Force [ http://www.mowateitaskforce.ca/ ] , which released its recommendations in November, 2011. Deepening and expanding upon a core argument of the Mowat Centre EI Task Force, the new paper suggests a Temporary Unemployment Assistance (TUA) program to plug some of the gaps left by the federal EI system.

Andrew Jackson blogs on the Mowat Employment Insurance report:
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2011/11/16/the-mowat-centre-and-employment-insurance/

The Mowat report:

Making it Work : Final Recommendations of the
Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force
(PDF - 859K, 122 pages)
November 16, 2011

Source:
Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force
The Mowat Centre EI Task Force is examining Canada's support system for the unemployed and will propose a blueprint for a strengthened national system.
The EI Task Force is part of:
The Mowat Centre
The Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation is an independent, non-partisan public policy research centre located at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. The Mowat Centre undertakes collaborative applied policy research and engages in public dialogue on Canada’s most important national issues, and proposes innovative, research-driven public policy recommendations, informed by Ontario’s reality.


The Employment Insurance Program in Canada: How It Works
By André Léonard
18 October 2010
Revised 14 August 2014

HTML version
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2010-52-e.htm

PDF version (602KB, 24 pages)
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2010-52-e.pdf

Contents:

1 Introduction
2 Unemployment and Employment Benefits
2.1 Insurable Employment, Insurable Earnings and Benefit Rates
2.1.1 Insurable Employment
2.1.2 Maximum Yearly Insurable Earnings
2.1.3 Benefit Rates
2.2 Regular Benefits
2.2.1 Qualifying Conditions
2.2.1.1 Persons Who Are New Entrants or Re-entrants to the Labour Force
2.2.1.2 All Other Persons
2.2.1.3 Penalties for Violations
2.2.2 Benefit Period
2.2.3 Deductions
2.2.4 Statistics on Regular Benefits

2.3 Special Benefits
2.3.1 Maternity Benefits
2.3.2 Parental Benefits
2.3.3 Sickness Benefits
2.3.4 Compassionate Care Benefits
2.3.5 Statistics on Special Benefits
2.4 Fishing Benefits
2.5 Work-sharing
2.6 More Details on Unemployment Benefits
2.6.1 Combined Benefits
2.6.2 Provisions for Teachers
2.6.3 Pilot Projects
2.6.4 Appealing Employment Insurance Decisions
2.7 Employment Benefits
3 Employment Insurance Program Financing
3.1 Premiums
3.2 Setting the Premium Rate

Source:
Parliamentary Information and Research Service:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Library/VirtualLibrary/ResearchPublications-E.asp

[ Library of Parliament Research Publications:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Library/VirtualLibrary/ResearchPublicationsCurrent-e.asp ]

Closing the gap between EI and welfare
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1109317
By Laurie Monsebraaten
January 1, 2012
(...) [there is] a growing number of area workers who either aren’t covered by EI or don’t qualify and could benefit from a proposed “Jobseeker’s Loan” designed to bridge the gap between employment insurance and welfare, says social policy researcher Michael Mendelson. (...) Under Mendelson’s proposal, income-tested forgivable loans would be available in bi-weekly payments of almost $700 for six months. The loans would be repaid based on total earnings for the year the money was received — they would be completely forgivable for those with incomes below about $10,000 and fully repayable for those earning about $71,000. At about $51,000, recipients would have to repay half of the Jobseeker’s Loan. All adults looking for work would be eligible for the full loan of almost $9,000 every five years and it would could cost the federal government about $1 billion annually.
Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

From the
Caledon Institute of Social Policy:

Fixing the Hole in Employment Insurance: Temporary Income Assistance for the Unemployed (PDF - 132K, 37 pages)
http://www.caledoninst.org/pdf_en/967ENG.pdf
Michael Mendelson and Ken Battle
December 2011
Many unemployed Canadians are ineligible for Employment Insurance, so that welfare becomes their only alternative. But welfare rates are low, especially for single employable recipients. Further, applicants must exhaust their financial assets, and the paternalistic requirements of welfare are stigmatizing. As a consequence, it is difficult to bounce back from welfare into the economic mainstream. The solution most often proposed has been to loosen the rules for Employment Insurance; however, we show in this paper that many unemployed workers would still be left in the cold even if we did that. Something is needed between Employment Insurance, with its relatively higher benefits but limited reach, and welfare, to which anyone in need can apply but only for inadequate benefits. We propose a new temporary income measure to fill the gap between Employment Insurance and welfare – the Jobseeker’s Loan.
Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy

http://www.caledoninst.org/

---

NOTE : The Caledon Institute of Social Policy website was recently relaunched. If you have links to or bookmarks for some of Caledon's reports, you'll have to update those. The Publications section of the new site [ http://www.caledoninst.org/pub_search.php ] contains links to hundreds of reports, articles, submissions, etc., back to 1993. Take a few minutes to visit the new Caledon website!

Manitoba

Welfare fills gap as jobless wait for EI
Federal government to blame for tardy processing, advocate says
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/welfare-fills-gap-as-jobless-wait-for-ei-136420573.html
By Bruce Owen
December 30, 2011
More Manitobans are collecting welfare despite the province having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, the most recent provincial numbers say.
And experts say one reason is due to the unemployed being forced to apply for provincial social assistance because of increasing delays in processing federal Employment Insurance claims. (...) Neil Cohen, executive director of Winnipeg's Community Unemployed Help Centre, said it's becoming more common for jobless Manitobans to collect provincial assistance because of the length of time it takes to get Employment Insurance claims processed. In some cases, it takes up to six weeks or longer.
Source:
Winnipeg Free Press
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

Related links:

Community Unemployed Help Centre (CUHC)
http://www.cuhc.mb.ca/
CUHC is a non-profit organization primarily dedicated to providing information, advice and representation to unemployed workers in Manitoba experiencing Employment Insurance problems. We also engage in broader social policy issues related to unemployment.
- incl. links to:
* Home * About Us * What You Need to Know Before You Apply * UI/EI Information * Appeals Information * Making EI Better * Help Centres in Other Provinces * Links
TIP : CUHC's roots are in the Manitoba labour movement, but Employment Insurance is a federal program, so the information on the CUHC website applies to all jurisdictions. Recommended reading!

From the
Vancouver Sun:

Decline in EI recipients could signal renewed health in B.C. labour market
http://goo.gl/8jhR9
By Evan Duggan
December 16, 2011
A decline in the number of British Columbians receiving employment insurance benefits could be a sign the labour market is recovering from the beating it took beginning with the global recession in 2008, according to a Vancouver economist.New numbers published by Statistics Canada show that 9,170 fewer people in Metro Vancouver received EI benefits in October 2011 when compared to October 2010 — a 32 per cent drop. Throughout B.C. there was a 28 per cent drop year-over-year fewer recipients across the province.
(...)
While the number of employment insurance beneficiaries has been falling, the total number of British Columbians receiving provincial income assistance has remained steady at roughly 180,000 over the past year, according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Social Development. “Numbers do fluctuate with seasonal work,” said David Haslam, a spokesman with the Ministry of Social Development. “We have not seen any indication that the decline in the number of EI recipients is having a significant impact on the province’s income assistance caseload.”
Source:
Vancouver Sun
http://www.vancouversun.com/

---

From the
Progressive Economics Forum (PEF):

EI Coverage Falls Below 40%
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2011/12/16/employment-insurance-below-40/
By Erin Weir
December 16, 2011
It may be a grim Christmas for thousands of unemployed Canadians. Today’s Employment Insurance figures show that fewer workers received benefits in October, even as more became unemployed and filed EI claims.

[ More PEF postings on Employment Insurance:
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/category/employment-insurance/ ]

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum (PEF)
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

Star editorial on making EI standards national:
November 8, 2011
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1083599--set-national-standards-for-ei
Ontario lost 75,000 full-time jobs last month — by far the biggest loss among the provinces. As many of these laid-off workers now turn to the employment insurance (EI) program for help, can they count on a program adequate for Ontario’s tough times? The evidence says no.
Source:
Toronto Star

Government launches Employment Insurance rate-setting consultations
News Release
August 18, 2011
(...) The consultations will focus on how the EI rate-setting mechanism can be further improved to ensure more stable and predictable rates, while:
* Ensuring the EI program breaks even over time;
* Avoiding large cumulative surpluses or deficits; and
* Maintaining a transparent rate-setting process.
(...) As previously announced, a web-based consultation process will invite written recommendations.

Individuals interested in participating in the consultations
online are invited to do so through the main consultation link:
http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/eiprs-etcac-eng.asp

Closing date of this consultation is November 30, 2011.
These consultations are open to anybody interested in participating.
Submissions can be emailed to ei-consultations-ae@fin.gc.ca

Related Document:

Employment Insurance Premium Rate Setting
NOTE: this link takes you to a section of the main consultation link above.


Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force

The Mowat Centre has convened a research-driven Employment Insurance Task Force to examine Canada's support system for the unemployed. The objective is to develop an Ontario proposal for modernizing the EI system—conscious of the national context—that works for individuals and businesses. (...) The Task Force’s recommendations will be issued in June 2011. In addition, all research conducted through the task force will be published as part of the Task Force’s findings. The Task Force is bringing together a wide cross-section of Canadian leaders and researchers to develop its proposal for reform.
- incl. links to : * Home * About * EI News * Issues * Reports * Resources

THE ISSUES
(Click the link above to access all links to the content below)

1. What Should the Objectives of the EI Program Be?
2. "Not Quite Insurance"
3. Social Assistance and EI
4. Experience Rating
5. Regional Differentiation
6. 10 Hour Rule
7. Access to EI Training Benefits
8. Self-Employed
9. Temporary Foreign Workers
10. Rate Setting
---

Selected reports and papers from the Task Force:

Making it Work : Final Recommendations of the
Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force
(PDF - 859K, 122 pages)
November 16, 2011
In Spring 2010, the Mowat Centre convened the Employment Insurance Task Force.
The Task Force’s mandate was to review the current Employment Insurance (EI) system, consult about its relevance to contemporary realities, and make recommendations about improving Canada’s support system for the unemployed. At the outset, we committed that any recommendations would be evidence-based and principled. We also committed that this process would be transparent, non-partisan, and incorporate a diversity of perspectives.

To this end, we held extensive consultations with employers, workers, and civil society. We commissioned research from Canada’s top experts. We hosted a series of technical consultations to vet our proposals. (...) Based on our research and consultation, we propose a blueprint for a strengthened national program to support the unemployed. (...)
Our 18 recommendations are organized around four themes:
- a nationally standardized system,
- active employment measures (i.e. training),
- special benefits, and
- financing and management.
We recommend transformational changes, as well as smaller changes that address long-standing irritants in the EI system.

---

November 11, 2011
New papers from the
Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force:

NOTE : The series of four papers below was commissioned by the Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force to serve as sources of input for the Task Force as it develops recommendations for reform of Canada’s Employment Insurance system. Watch for the release of the final recommendations of the Mowat Centre EI Task Force on November 16th.

The Income Sources for Long-Term Workers
Who Exhaust Employment Insurance Benefits
(PDF - 917K, 33 pages)
By Ross Finney et al.
This research has two main goals. The first is to track those individuals who exhausted a spell of regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during the 1990s and early into the new millennium in order to investigate the labour market outcomes in their post-EI periods. We focus particularly on individuals who experienced an extended work period prior to receiving EI benefits. The second objective is to examine whether there have been shifts in these patterns following the numerous reforms to EI and Social Assistance (SA) that took place in the 1990s.

Fixing the Hole in Employment Insurance:
Temporary Income Assistance for the Unemployed
(PDF - 859K, 35 pages)
By Michael Mendelson and Ken Battle
(...) At present, welfare is the only resort for the unemployed in financial need who are not eligible for Employment Insurance. But welfare is a highly stigmatizing and invasive program. We have therefore proposed the development of an income-tested program ‘between’ welfare and Employment Insurance which would provide limited and temporary financial assistance to those in need who are actively engaged in job search.

Trading Places : Single Adults Replace Lone Parents
as the New Face of Social Assistance in Canada
(PDF - 1.4MB, 32 pages)
By John Stapleton and Vass Bednar
This paper suggests that social and economic policies should be implemented and existing programs should be reworked in order to address the needs of single adults as the newly vulnerable in Canada. The paper also calls on government to improve access to unemployment and social assistance data for future research.

Hidden Regional Differentiation:
EI and Unequal Federal Support for Low Income Workers
(PDF - 850K, 27 pages)
By Jon Medow
Analysis of regional differentiation in EI weekly benefit calculation and the uneven federal approach to support of low income workers.

---

Making EI Work : Discussion Paper (PDF - 835K, 23 pages)
File dated December 2010
[ Companion document : Consultation Workbook (PDF - 1MB, 20 pages) ]

The Difficulties of Transitioning
from Employment Insurance (EI) to Social Assistance
(undated three-minute video)
John Stapleton discusses the difficulties in transitioning from EI to social assistance. Stapleton is particularly concerned with EI exhaustees who end up on social assistance and face barriers within that program to labour market re-entry. In this video, Stapleton explores some options for reform to address this situation.
[ Two Solitudes - brief text to accompany the above video on EI to SA]
[ Open Policy - John Stapleton's website ]

Resources:
[Click "Resources" in left margin.]
1. Legislation & Court Decisions
2. Federal Government Reports
3.Other Research Reports
4. Other Resources
NOTE: includes links to dozens of EI- related reports from government, think tanks and non-governmental organizations.

Source:
School of Public Policy and Governance (SPPG)
[ University of Toronto ]

---

September 29, 2011

* Michael Pal and Sujit Choudhry investigate the constitutionality of regional entrance requirements in the EI system:
http://www.mowateitaskforce.ca/sites/default/files/Pal-Choudhry.pdf
(PDF - 823K, 28 pages)

* Kathleen Day and Stanley Winer review the past four decades of empirical research on the relationship between internal migration and regional variation in the generosity of Canada’s unemployment insurance system.
http://www.mowateitaskforce.ca/sites/default/files/Day-Winer.pdf
(PDF - 654K, 33 pages)

* William Scarth analyzes three broad approaches to the provision of income support from a macro-economic perspective.
http://www.mowateitaskforce.ca/sites/default/files/Scarth.pdf
(PDF - 878K, 20 pages)

* Craig Riddell examines the role of EI in providing support to “displaced workers,” those who permanently lose their jobs because of changing economic circumstances.
http://www.mowateitaskforce.ca/sites/default/files/Riddell.pdf
(PDF - 856K, 29 pages)

Source:
Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force
The Mowat Centre EI Task Force is examining Canada's support system for the unemployed and will propose a blueprint for a strengthened national system.
The EI Task Force is part of:
The Mowat Centre
The Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation is an independent, non-partisan public policy research centre located at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. The Mowat Centre undertakes collaborative applied policy research and engages in public dialogue on Canada’s most important national issues, and proposes innovative, research-driven public policy recommendations, informed by Ontario’s reality.

How to Make $57 Billion Disappear:
The Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board

October 13, 2010
In this blog posting, former senior Finance Canada officials Clark and DeVries note that the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board (CEIFB) was created as a Crown Corporation in the 2008 federal Budget. The stated objectives of the CEIFB were to (1) enhance the independence of the premium rate setting and (2) to ensure that employment insurance (EI) premiums are used exclusively for the EI program. However, Clark and DeVries explain in detail in this article that "the creation of this Crown corporation does neither."

So why was the CEIFB created, you ask?

"The only reason was to get rid of the cumulative surplus in the EI Account, which as of March 31, 2009 stood at $57.2 billion. Although notional in nature, this balance has been an ongoing embarrassment to the government. The creation of the CEIFB effectively wipes out this massive cumulative balance and replaces it with a cash reserve of $2 billion, under the pretense of creating a more independent process. In her Opinion on the 2009-10 condensed financial statements, the Auditor General noted that she would be commenting in more detail on “significant accounting changes to the accounts for the Employment Insurance program”, which she wanted to draw to Parliament’s attention. There was no debate on this when the legislation that created the CEIFB was approved by Parliament. It is doubtful that the current members of the CEIFB were even aware of this when they were appointed."

Source:
3D policy
[ About the authors ]
NOTE: click the 3D policy link above to read over a dozen other blog entries since September 2010 by two former senior Finance Canada insiders in the federal budget process.

Another EI Absurdity
By Andrew Jackson
November 12, 2010
Well under one half of Canada’s 1.5 million unemployed workers are collecting EI benefits today, even though the national unemployment rate is still almost 8%. Special EI measures introduced as part of the 2009 Budget, notably an extra 5 weeks of benefits for all claimants, expired this fall, long before a real labour market recovery has taken place. (...) The situation is especially grim in Ontario. Less than one in three (32.0%) of unemployed Ontario workers received regular EI benefits in August. This is well below the national average of 44.4%, even though the Ontario unemployment rate is well above the national rate (8.6% compared to 7.9% in October).
Source:
Progressive Economics Forum Blog


 

 

From Jennefer Laidley
of the Income Security Advocacy Centre:

September 29, 30 (2010)

Flaherty discussing and reviewing EI premium increase – and hinting that deficit may be bigger than thought:

CBC:
No decision on EI premiums: Flaherty
Finance minister also says deficit may be worse than thought

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/09/30/ei-premiums-deficit.html

Globe:
Ottawa to scale back EI premium increase set for January
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-scale-back-ei-premium-increase-set-for-january/article1734052/

Sun:
Government hints EI rate increase likely

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/09/29/15521396.html

Post:
John Ivison: Tories do the right thing on EI
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/09/29/john-ivison-tories-do-the-right-thing-on-ei/

Sun:
Pogey panic button
Flaherty needs to step in and stop big EI rate hike
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/david_akin/2010/09/29/15524811.html

Seems like Ignatieff is also having second thoughts about EI changes – but he’s flip-flopping on improving EI:
Globe:
Ignatieff changes his mind on EI bill
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ignatieff-changes-his-mind-on-ei-bill/article1732585/

Thanks to Jennefer Laidley of the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) in Toronto
for sharing the above links. Visit BOTH of ISAC's websites!

ISAC website:
www.incomesecurity.org

Social Assistance Review website:
www.sareview.ca

EI Financing: Reset Required (PDF - 39K, 4 pages)
September 2010
By Michael Mendelson, Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman
In mid-November 2010, the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board will likely recommend a 15-cent increase in Employment Insurance employee premiums from $1.73 to $1.88 per $100 of insurable earnings for 2011. The contribution for employers is 1.4 times the employee premium so the cost for employers will rise as well. The Cabinet has until November 30 to act on the Board?s recommendation. The Cabinet could decide to reject the proposal and continue the current EI premium freeze for another year. Either way, it faces a tough dilemma.
Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy
Established in 1992, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy is a private, nonprofit organization with charitable status. It is supported primarily by the Maytree Foundation, located in Toronto. Caledon is an independent and critical voice that does not depend on government funding and is not affiliated with any political party.

Government panel pushes for maximum increase in EI premiums
Ottawa to decide whether to overrule board it created as critics argue increase will slash jobs during fragile economic recovery

September 9, 2010
By Bill Curry
A new panel created by the Harper government will move to raise employment insurance premiums by the maximum allowed, despite calls to leave payroll taxes frozen in light of Canada’s fragile jobs picture. Canadians will start feeling the hit on their paycheques when the two-year freeze on EI premiums announced in the 2009 budget comes to an end on Jan. 1. Employers will also have to cough up more in premiums for their workers, which economists and business groups warn could hurt employment.The Globe and Mail has learned that an internal report on EI rates by a new independent body will recommend they be raised by 15 cents on every $100 earned, an 8.7-per-cent increase from the current $1.73 and the maximum allowed under federal law. Employers will have to pay an extra 21 cents per $100.
Source:
Globe and Mail

Related link:

EI Premiums Come Full Circle
By Andrew Jackson
September 9, 2010
For reasons that escape me, the Globe ran a headline front page story today [see above] on what all fiscal policy and Employment Insurance wonks have known to be true for some time. Under current legislation, and as announced in the 2009 Budget, the EI premium rate set by a supposedly autonomous but tightly constrained new body will rise by 15 cents per $100 of insured earnings for workers, and by 21 cents per $100 of earnings for employers in January. This is the maximum increase allowed, and the maximum increase is required since premiums must rise to balance revenues and expenditures if the fund has no surplus. Premiums must rise, that is, unless the government decides to exercise its right to unilaterally set the premium rate, which it does not intend to do. This is a new chapter in an old story which brings us full circle. Once again, the federal government will be deliberately running annual EI account surpluses to reduce the public debt. Minister Flaherty is taking a rather big play out of Paul Martin’s book.
Source:
Progressive Economics Forum Blog

Ottawa ends enhanced EI program
September 9, 2010
By Tanya Talaga
Ontario workers who lose their jobs next week will receive less employment insurance. As of Saturday (September 11), Ottawa will cancel an extra five weeks of regular EI benefits and end a program that provided up to an additional 20 weeks of benefits for longer-serving employees. (...) Last year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper enhanced regular EI benefits for laid off workers by five weeks in response to the crippling of Canada’s job market during the economic downturn. Ottawa also enhanced benefits for longer-serving employees by up to 20 weeks. Five weeks of benefits roughly equals $1,768 on average — EI claims are based on 55 per cent of a person’s income. Twenty weeks is a lost $7,072.
Source:
Toronto Star

Related links:

Government of Canada news release announcing
the extended EI benefits in September 2009:

Government of Canada intends to table legislation to
extend Employment Insurance benefits for long-tenured workers

September 14, 2009
...the Government of Canada has given notice that it intends to introduce legislation that would temporarily provide additional Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits to unemployed long-tenured workers. These are individuals who have worked and paid EI premiums for a significant period of time and have previously made limited use of EI regular benefits.
Source:
Canada News Centre

----------

From Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC),
the federal department responsible for EI:

Extended Employment Insurance
regular benefits for long tenured workers

Fact Sheet
Web page dated 2009-11-25

Source:
Employment Insurance (HRSDC)

Help Wanted: How Well did the EI Program Respond During Recent Recessions?
September 8, 2010
This Mowat Note assesses how well Canada’s Employment Insurance system performed during the most recent recession compared to previous recessions, focusing on regional inequities. (...) The analysis reveals that regional differences in coverage between provinces were significant. In Ontario and British Columbia in 2009, only 38 per cent and 39 per cent (respectively) of the unemployed were receiving benefits, while in some other provinces, over 90 per cent of the unemployed were receiving benefits.

Full text (PDF - 335K, 16 pages)
By Matthew Mendelsohn & Jon Medow
September 2010

Source:
Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation (University of Toronto)
The Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation has been set up to help inform and revitalize Canada’s public policy agenda, given new Canadian and global realities. This includes questioning many of the assumptions that underlie our current approaches, while ensuring that all of us continue to share a sense of common citizenship, benefit from equality of opportunity, and have access to all the benefits of being Canadian

Related link:

A disguised welfare scheme
By Lorne Gunter
September 10, 2010
(...) Released Wednesday by the University of Toronto's Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, the study [on Employment Insurance disparity] shows that during the 2008-09 recession, Ontario and Western workers received half the benefits per capita that unemployed workers in Atlantic Canada and Quebec received.

According to researchers, only 38% of unemployed workers in Ontario and 39% in B.C. received benefits, despite those provinces being among the hardest hit with job losses. And while 42% of Canada's unemployed lived in Ontario, laid-off workers in that province received only 25% of training funds available through EI.

Source:
National Post

From The Daily
[Statistics Canada]:

Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2009
June 10, 2010
Among the 1.04 million unemployed individuals who contributed to the Employment Insurance (EI) program in 2009, 857,000 had a recent job separation that met the EI program criteria. Of those, 739,000 or 86.2% were eligible to receive regular EI benefits because they worked enough hours, up from 82.2% in 2008.
- includes links to three tables:
* Coverage and eligibility of the unemployed for Employment Insurance benefits, 2009
* Coverage and eligibility of the unemployed for Employment Insurance benefits by sex, 2009
* Coverage and eligibility of the unemployed for Employment Insurance benefits, by province, 2009

EI Monitoring and Assessment Report 2009
Posted to the HRSDC website in April 2010
The 2009 Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report focuses on the period April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, tabled the report in Parliament on April 29, 2010. The report, prepared by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission, monitors and assesses the impacts of the Employment Insurance program on the economy, communities and individuals.
Table of contents:
* Chapter 1
of this report provides an overview of the Canadian labour market in 2007/08.
* Chapter 2 is an overview of EI benefits (income benefits) under Part I of the Employment Insurance Act for the same period.
* Chapter 3 gives information about the support provided to unemployed workers through active re-employment measures, known as Employment Benefits and Support Measures
* Chapter 4 presents information on EI program administration and service delivery.
* Chapter 5 analyzes the impacts and effectiveness of the EI program based on administrative data, internal and external research, and evaluative studies.

Highlights
* Lowest employment growth in 15 years, due to the global recession in 2008/09
* Access to benefits was high among those who contributed to the program.
* Regular EI claims increased in 2008/09, in the midst of the first recession since 1991/92
* Total regular and special benefits paid increased for both men and women
* Maternity and parental claims increased
* Fishing claims continued to decrease
* There was a significant increase in the number of Work Sharing agreements
* Active employment measures helped Canadians prepare for, obtain and maintain employment

Source:
Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Reports
NOTE: this page of the HRSDC website contains direct links to the reports for 2009, 2008 and 2007 *only*, along with the following friendly rejoinder:
"If you would like to request copies of the previous Monitoring and Assessment Reports, please contact the Publications/Distribution Unit."
That's not accountability, that's obstruction. People should never have to divulge their identity to access a public report.
Shame on you, HRSDC.

Related links:

* Canada Employment Insurance Commission

* Employment Insurance Regulations

* Employment Insurance Act

* Canada Gazette: Canada Employment Insurance Commission

Source:
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
HRSDC is responsible for the administration of EI in Canada.

Ontario seeks Ottawa's help as welfare cases spike
Province calling for national standard for accessing
Employment Insurance payments as laid-off workers exhaust their federal benefits

March 15, 2010
By Bill Curry
"(...) Ontario in particular is calling on Ottawa to step in with a further expansion of federal EI so that provinces and workers are treated the same no matter where they live in Canada. Because EI is easier to get in regions of historically high unemployment, the province says many Ontarians who lost their jobs during the recession were left out."
Source:
The Globe and Mail

What happens when Employment Insurance runs out?
February 15, 2010
By Carol Goar
"[People who have] exhausted their employment insurance benefits (...) were largely ignored in Ottawa's stimulus package. The 2009 federal budget extended EI benefits for a mere five weeks. Last September, to alleviate public pressure, the government added a 5-to-20-week top-up for older workers. (...) EI exhaustees are by no means the worst-off victims of the recession. But their plight provides an early glimpse of what Canadians can expect from Ottawa, as they face as a long, debilitating job drought.
[ more columns by Carol Goar ]
Source:
The Toronto Star

EI system failing recession “stress test”—report
News Release
January 25, 2010
OTTAWA—Canada’s Employment Insurance system is failing the “stress test” of the recession and fixing it must be a key priority in the upcoming federal budget, says a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). According to the report, even as the EI system became easier to access the number of unemployed Canadians not in receipt of EI benefits jumped from 650,760 in October 2008 to 777,4000 in October 2009.“Many unemployed workers have fallen through the cracks of the EI system,” says Andrew Jackson, Chief Economist with the Canadian Labour Congress and a CCPA Research Associate. “In October 2009, 51% of unemployed Canadians were collecting EI benefits—and just 41% in Ontario.”

Complete report:
Is EI Working for Canada’s Unemployed?
Analyzing The Great Recession
(PDF - 348K, 8 pages)
January 2010
By Andrew Jackson

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
The CCPA is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates. By combining solid research with extensive outreach, we work to enrich democratic dialogue and ensure Canadians know there are workable solutions to the issues we face.

Notice of Intent – Fairness for the Self Employed Act
December 2009
The Canada Employment Insurance Commission is contemplating amendments to the Employment Insurance Regulations to reflect the amendments to the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act) contained in Bill C-56, the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act, which received Royal Assent on December 15, 2009. Bill C-56 provides EI special benefits, which are maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits, to self-employed persons on a voluntary basis. To the extent possible, these benefits will mirror the special benefits currently available to paid employees already covered under the existing Employment Insurance Act. For more information or to provide comments on the proposed amendments, please consult the Notice of Intent in the Canada Gazette.

Related links:

* Canada Employment Insurance Commission

* Employment Insurance Regulations

* Employment Insurance Act

* Bill C-56, the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act (Fact sheet)

* Fairness for the Self-Employed Act passed by Parliament (December 16, 2009)

* Canada Gazette: Canada Employment Insurance Commission

Source:
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

EI: Evidence of Exhaustion?
Posted by Erin Weir
October 27, 2009
Analysis by Erin Weir
Today’s Employment Insurance (EI) figures indicate that, in August, 23,000 more Canadians filed EI claims but 19,000 fewer received EI benefits. The most optimistic possibility is that all of the workers who stopped receiving benefits got jobs. Indeed, the Labour Force Survey indicates that total employment rose by 27,000 in August.
Source:
Progressive Economics Blog

Government of Canada intends to table legislation
to extend Employment Insurance benefits for long-tenured workers

September 14, 2009
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture), today announced that the Government of Canada has given notice that it intends to introduce legislation that would temporarily provide additional Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits to unemployed long-tenured workers. These are individuals who have worked and paid EI premiums for a significant period of time and have previously made limited use of EI regular benefits. (...) This new measure is designed to provide additional support to workers who have paid EI premiums for years and made limited use of the program, while they look for jobs in a recovering economy. It is a temporary measure, which builds on those introduced in Canada’s Economic Action Plan. (...) Through the Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada has also implemented measures to support all unemployed Canadians. These measures include providing nationally five extra weeks of EI regular benefits, increasing the maximum duration of benefits from 45 to 50 weeks in regions of high unemployment, protecting jobs through the Work-Sharing program, and freezing EI premiums for 2010 at the same rate as 2009 to provide economic stimulus.
Source:
Canadian Government News Centre

Related links:

EI Woes
By Armine Yalnizyan
September 18th, 2009
The latest changes to EI to be introduced by the Conservatives do almost nothing for the shock troops of the labour market, those who were first felled when the recession hit last year. Bill C-50 will pass – whether or not it is fast-tracked today or “well-considered” in committee depends on how the procedural tactics imbedded in the bill are handled by all of the opposition parties – but it is a resounding bust for those whose benefits are due to run out just about now.
Source:
Relentlessly Progressive Economics Blog
[ Progressive Economics Forum ]
Economic policy-making and economics instruction in Canada have both increasingly come to reflect a conservative, free-market perspective. There is an urgent need to promote an alternative, progressive economics community in Canada.Over 125 progressive economists—working in universities, the labour movement, and activist research organizations—have joined forces to make our collective, critical perspective heard. We have formed the Progressive Economics Forum. [ About PEF ]

Also from Armine at PEF:

Employment Insurance Reforms - Unfinished Business of the Recession
By Armine Yalnizyan
September 14, 2009
With their backs once again to the wall, the Conservatives today announced that they will, at long last, propose additional measures to help the unemployed, something almost everyone inside and outside Parliament has been asking them to do for the better part of a year. They will extend employment insurance benefits by another 5 to 20 weeks for those who qualify to their new rules, a move they claim will help about 190,000 unemployed Canadians – people who are already protected by Employment Insurance provisions, but are running out of time. But they will only qualify for the new help if they meet all sorts of other conditions that make them the “deserving” unemployed in the Conservatives’ eyes – long-term tenure at their job, and not having made a claim for help in the past.
A little reality check is in order...
Source:
Relentlessly Progressive Economics Blog
[ Progressive Economics Forum ]
Economic policy-making and economics instruction in Canada have both increasingly come to reflect a conservative, free-market perspective. There is an urgent need to promote an alternative, progressive economics community in Canada.Over 125 progressive economists—working in universities, the labour movement, and activist research organizations—have joined forces to make our collective, critical perspective heard. We have formed the Progressive Economics Forum. [ About PEF ]

Conservatives buy some time
Election tension eases as NDP indicates it will likely back government over EI improvements
September 15, 2009
OTTAWA–Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives set the stage for their first parliamentary survival test on Friday, but the threatened political showdown that could lead to an early election appeared to be losing steam.
Source:
Toronto Star

Supporting Working Canadian Families:
The Role of Employment Insurance Special Benefits
(PDF - 105K, 33 pages)
By Michael J. Prince
September 2009
This paper explores the Employment Insurance (EI) policy objective of encouraging long-term labour market attachment by providing temporary income support during absences from work due to life events such as illness, childbirth and caring for a terminally ill family member. The study was undertaken as part of an ongoing assessment of the policies and programs of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, which is examining how EI may need to adjust to better align with current shifts in the labour market and society. The report examines five EI special benefits: the Family Supplement, Sickness, Parental, Maternity and Compassionate Care. The paper also includes a chronology of major developments in family-related benefits in EI policy from 1941 to 2006. Because EI special benefits operate at the intersection of labour market policy, income security policy and family policy, these benefits enable a better balance between work and family life, and have important implications for each of these policy domains.

Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy
The Caledon Institute of Social Policy does rigorous, high-quality research and analysis; seeks to inform and influence public opinion and to foster public discussion on poverty and social policy; and develops and promotes concrete, practicable proposals for the reform of social programs at all levels of government and of social benefits provided by employers and the voluntary sector.

Tories to introduce own EI reform
Human Resources Minister says changes to come in fall session;
Liberals question why proposals weren't made to the bipartisan working group
By Rhéal Séguin (no relation)
Quebec City
September 7, 2009
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives are planning to unveil an unemployment insurance reform package in the coming session of Parliament, in effect undermining one of the Liberal party's justifications for a fall election. A bipartisan working group on EI failed to agree to changes to the program over the summer, with the Liberals accusing the Tories of not bringing any proposals to the table. Last week, when the Liberals announced their intention of defeating the government and said they would no longer attend the working group, Conservative committee member Diane Finley chastised them for walking away from the discussions. (...) The [proposed Conservative] move to introduce their own EI plan suggests the Harper Conservatives, gearing up for an election campaign, want to shift the blame onto the opposition for failing to help the growing ranks of Canada's unemployed. (...)
Yesterday Marlene Jennings, one of the two Liberal MPs on the committee, accused the government of acting in bad faith by now tabling proposals that could easily have been debated by the EI reform panel.
Source:
Globe and Mail

EI: The Decline Resumes
May 20, 2010
Commentary on EI stats by Erin Weir
Statistics Canada reports that, after February’s pause, Employment Insurance (EI) resumed its contraction in March. Specifically, 24,200 fewer Canadians received regular EI benefits. The key question is whether these unemployed workers found jobs or simply ran out of benefits.

Also by Erin Weir:

Stingy EI Benefits
By Erin Weir
April 22, 2010
This morning, Statistics Canada released Employment Insurance (EI) figures for February. These figures show slightly more recipients nationally, but somewhat fewer recipients among provinces. (...) The status quo is that more than 1.5 million Canadians are officially unemployed, but that fewer than 700,000 receive EI benefits. Continuing that state of affairs is a poor outcome.

Employment Insurance Runs Out
February 19, 2010
The number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits plummeted in December. The drop of 40,100 was the largest monthly decrease in years. One would anticipate some decline in the number of EI recipients as the job market begins to recover. But the magnitude of December’s decline suggests that, in addition to those former recipients who found work, many more simply ran out of benefits. The Labour Force Survey indicates that employment decreased by 2,600 in December. Therefore, it seems unlikely that 40,100 EI recipients found jobs during that month. (...) Fewer than half (47.8 %) of unemployed Canadians received EI benefits in December.

Source:
Blog : Relentlessly Progressive Economics
[ Progressive Economics Forum ]
The Progressive Economics Forum aims to promote the development of a progressive economics community in Canada. The PEF brings together over 125 progressive economists, working in universities, the labour movement, and activist research organizations.

[ more postings on Employment Insurance from the Progressive Economics Forum website ]



From the Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics file:

Mind the gap
November 9, 2009
Canada's monthly unemployment statistics have a significant gap that must be filled. They do not reveal the number of people whose employment-insurance benefits have expired and who are still out of work. (...) People who have dropped off the unemployment rolls - and are thus no longer included in the numbers - may have found new jobs, but they may also have simply exhausted their benefits. That shifts them into a much more harrowing situation where they are likely facing dire financial straits and may be forced to consider welfare. But we have no way of knowing if that is the case. (...)
This is not just an issue of concern to economists interested in crunching the numbers to make their latest projections. It is about vital data that can direct governments and social agencies in their design of policies and their preparations to deliver resources to those most in need. Without these numbers, for example, no one knows how many people may be forced to seek welfare in the short term - a key issue for the provinces and municipalities that fund and administer the welfare system.
Source:
Globe and Mail

Related links:

Employment Insurance data don't count those who run out
Without statistics on the number of jobless Canadians whose employment insurance
benefits have been exhausted, it's difficult to gauge how many are headed for welfare.

By Tavia Grant - October 26, 2009
Source:
Globe and Mail

StatCan tables by subject:
Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers

Source:
Statistics Canada


From The Globe and Mail:

Employment Insurance data don't count those who run out
Without statistics on the number of jobless Canadians whose employment insurance
benefits have been exhausted, it's difficult to gauge how many are headed for welfare.

By Tavia Grant
October 26, 2009
In a country that dutifully tallies everything from egg sales to steel wire production, one crucial piece of the economic puzzle is missing. When Statistics Canada releases its monthly report on employment insurance today, notable will be the lack of information on the number of unemployed who have exhausted their EI benefits. This is frustrating the efforts of economists and also complicating public policy, because how can governments and support agencies respond if the full extent of the problem is unknown? “We don't know whether people are departing for new employment, or if they are exhausting benefits and persisting in the unemployment pool – and that is problematic,” said Grant Bishop, an economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank. “There could definitely be better disclosure on the character of EI.” Mr. Bishop noted that this “poor real-time gauge” of how many unemployed are without income has implications for how governments plan the rates and delivery of social assistance. Currently no federal body publishes timely statistics showing how often EI benefits run out or welfare rates across the country, which economists expect to rise.

Related Globe articles:
* Bringing EI to self-employed tricky task
* Workers, employers face EI premium hikes: report


Employment Insurance: A Tale of Two Provinces
Posted by Erin Weir
August 25, 2009
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
It would be welcome news if the number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits increased because of a proactive policy decision to expand this program to combat the recession. In fact, the ongoing rise in EI beneficiaries simply reflects the deterioration of Canada’s labour market. We are still in “the worst of times.” Every month, tens of thousands more Canadians are laid off than can find new jobs.
TIP : Click the link above and scroll down the next page to see a table showing Employment Insurance coverage across Canada in June 2009 (seasonally-adjusted figures). For each province and for Canada, the table shows the number of EI recipients, the number of people who are unemployed and the resulting percentage of EI coverage. Where would you prefer to live - Ontario, where 41.3% of unemployed people qualify for EI, or Newfoundland and Labrador, where EI covered 112.4% of unemployed workers in June 2009? [No, this is not a typo.]
Source:
Progressive Economics Forum Blog
[ other posts by Erin Weir ]
[ Progressive Economics Forum ]

Canada's Shrinking Safety Net:
Employment Insurance in the Great Recession
(PDF - 41K, 5 pages)
Michael Mendelson, Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman
April 2009
Belt-tightening changes made to Employment Insurance in the 1990s have decimated the program’s coverage over the years and substantially reduced the value of payments. Today only three in ten unemployed Canadians receive regular EI benefits in contrast to eight in ten in the last recession, in 1990.
Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy

Related link:

EI Monitoring and Assessment Report 2008
Source:
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
(HRSDC)
NOTE: numbers will differ between StatCan's 2008 EI coverage report and the EI assessment report "...because StatCan uses seasonally unadjusted data on unemployment and EI beneficiaries, while HRSDC uses seasonally adjusted unemployment data. StatCan uses seasonally unadjusted data on EI beneficiaries because they prefer to use comparable seasonally unadjusted data for unemployment."

Tories would leave jobless workers behind
August 12, 2009
By Mike Savage
Liberal MP for Dartmouth–Cole Harbour
and Marlene Jennings
Liberal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Lachine
On June 17, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed to form a working group that would look at reforms to employment insurance to improve fairness in eligibility requirements for Canadians laid off during this recession. (...) With 58 different [Employment Insurance eligibility] standards across the country, there are communities where one person is eligible for benefits while her neighbour across the street with the same number of hours worked will not qualify. This makes no sense, as the Prime Minister admitted back in June. This is why many of Canada's premiers have supported the call for a single national standard for EI eligibility. They are joined by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Canadian Labour Congress, TD Bank economists and the C.D. Howe Institute, among others.

Marlene Jennings and Mike Savage are Liberal members of the Employment Insurance Working Group.
Source:
The Toronto Star

Premiers Agree on EI Reforms and Call for a Retirement Income Summit (PDF - 27K, 2 pages)
August 6, 2009
REGINA – Premiers agreed on the urgent need to modernize the Employment Insurance system to support a modern workforce in a modern economy and called for a national summit on retirement income
Source:
Council of the Federation

On December 5, 2003, Canada’s Premiers proudly announced in Charlottetown the creation of the Council of the Federation. It is a new institution for a new era in collaborative intergovernmental relations. The Council of the Federation was created by Premiers because they believe it is important for provinces and territories to play a leadership role in revitalizing the Canadian federation and building a more constructive and cooperative federal system.

Related links:

This time, Ottawa isn't the target
August 7, 2009
By Jim Coyle
(...) As they formally opened the Council of the Federation yesterday, Canada's premiers had an uncharacteristically meaty agenda and unusually kind words for their own federal government. Instead, the hottest blasts were aimed at the United States and the protectionist Buy America initiatives there that threaten Canadian access to those markets. (...) The premiers have sketched out principles to modernize the employment insurance scheme, reviewed stimulus spending of levels unimaginable when they met a year ago, and endorsed McGuinty's call for a national summit on pensions.
Source:
Toronto Star

Grits, Tories squabble over EI costs:
Cost has become the latest flashpoint between Conservatives and Liberals
in their potentially election-provoking squabble over employment insurance reform.

Federal officials claimed Thursday that a Liberal proposal to ease access to jobless benefits would cost more than $4 billion a year to implement. But Liberals charged the governing Tories have "grossly inflated" the number of unemployed who'd be eligible for EI under their plan, thereby producing "astronomical costs" to justify their flat rejection of the proposal.
Source:
CBC

Lorne Gunter: The scam we call 'Employment Insurance'
August 7, 2009
By Lorne Gunter
There is almost nothing about Canada's Employment Insurance (EI) program that is as it appears. Even its name is a dodge. The plan does not insure against employment; that would be absurd. It insures against unemployment. Yet, in keeping with the disingenuous nature of the program, the name was changed to EI (from Unemployment Insurance) more than a decade ago in the naive hope that somehow the superficial switch in branding would encourage beneficiaries to find and keep jobs.
Source:
National Post

There's jobless, and officially jobless
When Statscan issues its jobs data today [see related link below], it won't tally those who have given up or postponed their searches
By Tavia Grant
August 7, 2009
(...) When Statistics Canada reports its monthly job count today, many unemployed people (...) who have either postponed or given up their job search won't be tallied. That's because people who haven't hunted for jobs in the past month aren't counted as unemployed or as part of the labour force. The gap between the actual unemployment rate and the official statistics is likely to widen in the coming months, as more people give up their job search to go back to school, or wait until jobs are more abundant, economists say. Many more workers will settle for part-time jobs, even though they want full-time positions. (...) When involuntary part-time workers are factored into the equation, Canada's unemployment rate would have been 11.3 per cent in June, according to Statscan's so-called R8 series on "underutilized" labour, which is not seasonally adjusted. That's well above the 8.1-per-cent level it showed in the same month last year, though down from the 12.4 per cent it reached in March.
Source:
Globe and Mail
[ Related link:
Labour Force Survey, July 2009 - Statistics Canada, August 7, 2009 ]

EI benefits at record levels
Ontario, Alberta show biggest hike
July 29, 2009
The number of people receiving regular employment insurance benefits jumped to the highest level on record in May, with Alberta and Ontario showing the biggest increases, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.
EI beneficiaries were up 9.2 per cent to 778,700 during the month, after a 3.7 per cent rise in April, the federal agency said.
Source:
Financial Post

Employment Insurance (EI) Claims Surge
By Erin Weir
July 28, 2009
The worst news in today’s Employment Insurance (EI) figures is that new benefit claims hit a record high. Rising numbers of unemployed workers and hence EI beneficiaries are an unsurprising result of a deteriorating labour market. However, the increase the number of new EI claims suggests that the pace of deterioration is worsening rather than easing. Despite signs of a nascent recovery of economic output, today’s figures suggest that Canada’s job market will remain grim for some time to come.

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum Blog
[ other posts by Erin Weir ]
[ Progressive Economics Forum
The Progressive Economics Forum aims to promote the development of a progressive economics community in Canada. The PEF brings together over 125 progressive economists, working in universities, the labour movement, and activist research organizations. ]

Canada’s EI benefits well below OECD average: study
Press Release
June 30, 2009
OTTAWA—Employment Insurance benefits in Canada are well below the OECD average, says a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The study, by economist Lars Osberg, finds that in terms of access, benefit duration, and income replacement levels, EI in Canada falls far below most other OECD countries and below the levels of Canadian unemployment insurance in past recessions.

Complete report:

Canada’s Declining Social Safety Net:
The Case for EI Reform
(PDF - 592K, 28 pages)
June 2009
By Lars Osberg
"(...) Between October 2008 and May 2009, 363,000 Canadians lost their jobs — and the OECD projects unemployment to rise to 9.8% in 2010. In this global recession, the weakness of Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) system has become a glaring federal policy omission. This study looks at income protection for the unemployed, federally and elsewhere, and makes a strong case for EI reforms." (Excerpt from the Executive Summary)

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.

[ more CCPA reports and studies ]
[ all CCPA publications ]

Western Premiers Agree on a Plan for EI Reform
2009 Western Premiers' Conference
Dawson City, Yukon - June 17-19, 2009
Communique
Friday, June 19
DAWSON CITY – At the 2009 Western Premiers’ Conference, Premiers will work in partnership with the federal government to make employment insurance fair for all Canadians.They welcomed the appointment of the federal working group on Employment Insurance (EI) and committed to making a joint submission to the committee.
Source:
Canadian Intergovernmental
Conference Secretariat

FromThe Globe and Mail:

Provincial welfare program under strain
Number of two-parent families collecting assistance up 77 per cent compared to April of last year
By Justine Hunter
June 2, 2009
Just days after B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell launched a national campaign to broaden Canada's employment insurance scheme, new statistics show his provincial welfare program is under growing strain. And families are bearing the brunt of the recession in B.C., the new provincial statistics on income assistance show.

B.C. Premier demands single EI standard
By Patrick Brethour
May 30, 2009
The federal government needs to overhaul a “clearly discriminatory” employment insurance system to help the swelling ranks of the jobless in Western Canada, says British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. The Premier is adding his voice to the chorus pressing the federal government to rewrite the rulebook for employment insurance, and to create a single national standard for how long Canadians need to work before becoming eligible for payments. “Canadians are Canadians, and they should be treated equally,” he told The Globe and Mail. Right now, there are dramatic discrepancies in the EI system, with those in areas of historically low unemployment having to work more than twice as long to qualify for payments as those in regions with the highest levels of joblessness. That means it's much more likely for laid-off workers in such low-unemployment areas to fall short of qualifying for EI, even though a similar worker in a more disadvantaged area would receive payments.

Ottawa and the provinces must extend a helping hand to workers
We need to eliminate regional discrepancies and co-operate to extend EI benefits
By Gordon Campbell (Premier of British Columbia)
May 29. 2009
With all of the discussion these days about employment insurance reforms, it is timely to consider affordable improvements that will assist families and unemployed individuals who are struggling to get through this global recession. First, we need to eliminate the regional discrepancies in eligibility rules that are particularly unfair to Western Canadians. (...) Second, we need to find an affordable way of extending EI benefits to help workers who have either recently exhausted their benefits or who are about to lose their EI income. This could be achieved through a new cost-sharing partnership between the federal and provincial governments that would redirect some provincial income assistance funding to help the federal government fund extended EI benefits. (...) Provincial governments can be part of the solution by offering to partner with the federal government in extending individuals' maximum EI benefits. Instead of making income assistance payments to those people, they could offer to transfer that funding to the federal government to help fund the cost of extended EI benefits. (...) The federal government and provinces should work in partnership to do the best we can for all of Canada's workers, regardless of where they live or are employed. They pay equivalent national taxes and all should receive equivalent national benefits. We must unite in providing Canadians more effective support as we move through these trying times.

Uninsured: Why EI is Failing Working Ontarians
News Release
Posted May 25, 2009
(...) In 2008, approximately 1 in 5 unemployed workers in Toronto were eligible for EI. While unemployed workers were struggling to make ends meet, the accumulated surplus of EI premiums soared to over $54 billion.

UNINSURED: Why EI is Failing Working Ontarians (PDF - 2.7MB, 25 pages)
May 2009

Source:
Community Social Planning Council of Toronto
The Community Social Planning Council of Toronto is committed to independent social planning at the local and city-wide levels in order to improve the quality of life for all people in Toronto. It is committed to diversity, social and economic justice, and active citizen participation in all aspects of community life.

Is Canada's Employment Insurance Program Adequate? (PDF - 120K, 16 pages)
April 30, 2009
Special Report
Source:
TD Economics

More TD Economics reports

Employment Insurance and Women: What You Should Know (PDF - 130K, 6 pages)
[* includes links to nearly three dozen online resources]
April 2009

Table of contents:
1. Fewer Women Qualify
2. Accumulating Those Magic Hours
3. When Caring Conflicts With Work
4. Women’s Benefits Are Low
5. Inadequate Sickness Benefits
6. A Poor Plan For Parents
7. Quebec Parents Have It
8. Inadequate Caregiving Leave
9. What Women Want
10. In Support of Effective Policies
Source:
New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women
NOTE: the home page contains links to several dozen more reports

Gender aspects of Employment Insurance (PDF - 81K, 20 pages)
By Ken Battle
March 2009
Ken Battle appeared before the Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women. His presentation discusses gender aspects of the Employment Insurance program.
Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy

Also from Caledon:

Is Canada’s Employment Insurance Program Adequate? (PDF - 17K, 3 pages)
Press Release
April 30, 2009
TORONTO -- The sizeable discrepancy of Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility requirements between regions must be addressed, according to a new report by TD Economics. But its authors warn that any
reform must be balanced against undesirable effects such as the potential for increased dependency on EI and longer-term costs. (...) Currently the eligibility for and duration of EI benefits depends on the unemployment rate in the region in which the unemployed worker resides. The number of hours required to qualify for EI – known as the Variable Entrance Requirement (VER) -- increases if the regional unemployment rate is in a lower range. (...) In the immediate term, the report recommends “flattening” the eligibility structure whereby individuals qualify with 560 hours in all regions with less than 10 percent unemployment. Such a move would represent a cost of $500 million per year to the program.

Full Report (PDF - 120K, 16 pages)
By Derek Burleton and Grant Bishop
- includes the executive summary

Executive Summary (PDF - 19K, 2 pages)

Source:
TD Economics

EI Financing: We Told You So
Posted by Erin Weir
April 23, 2009
On the first of this month, I appeared before the Senate’s Standing Committee on National Finance regarding the Employment Insurance (EI) provisions of the 2009 Budget Implementation Act. The Senate recently posted the transcript online.
A fellow panellist was Michel Bédard, former Chief Actuary of the EI Fund. Last year, he and I appeared in the same panel before the same committee regarding the 2008 Budget Implementation Act. We both argued then that, if unemployment increased, the government’s quasi-reserve of $2 billion would quickly prove insufficient to maintain (let alone improve) EI benefits without hiking premiums. Budget 2009 implicitly acknowledges that this concern was valid. Specifically, it suggests that a further $4.5 billion will be needed to freeze premiums for two years given higher unemployment.

See also:

Worsening Unemployment Calls for Better Employment Insurance
April 9 2009

Source:
Relentlessly Progressive Economics
[A Blog of the Progressive Economics Forum]

Related links:

Proceedings of the
Standing Senate Committee on National Finance
Issue 5 - Evidence - Meeting of April 1, 2009
Panel members:
Michel Bédard, Member, Task Force on the Financing of Employment Insurance, Canadian Institute of Actuaries
Erin Weir, Economist, United Steelworkers
Phil Benson, a lobbyist with Teamsters Canada
Source:
Senate Standing Committee on National Finance - 40th Parliament, 2nd Session (January 26, 2009 - )

Frayed safety net for unemployed
Unequal access to jobless benefits worsens impact of `Great Recession'
By Michael Mendelson, Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman
[ Caledon Institute of Social Policy ]
April 21, 2009
An additional 41,000 Canadians were out of work this March, bringing unemployment close to one and a half million. This frightening number will almost certainly keep climbing in the next several months. Bailouts and building projects will help, but the essential program for most jobless Canadians remains the Employment Insurance system. The program was introduced in the wake of the Great Depression and got us through many difficult times since, most recently the recessions of 1982 and 1990. Is the program up to the challenge of the Great Recession of 2009? In the 1982 recession, jobless benefits helped 76 per cent of the unemployed. During the 1990 recession, fully 83 per cent received benefits. Today coverage is down to 43 per cent – half of what it was in 1990.

Canada's Shrinking Safety Net:
Employment Insurance in the Great Recession
(PDF - 41K, 5 pages)
Michael Mendelson, Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman
April 2009
Belt-tightening changes made to Employment Insurance in the 1990s have decimated the program’s coverage over the years and substantially reduced the value of payments. Today only three in ten unemployed Canadians receive regular EI benefits in contrast to eight in ten in the last recession, in 1990. There is a gender gap in coverage, and it has widened. Both eligibility for benefits and the maximum duration of benefits vary widely from community to community and province to province, leading to unfair treatment of the unemployed. Caledon proposes several immediate changes to strengthen EI, including: a uniform set of rules governing entrance requirements and length of benefits, increasing the earnings-replacement rate from the current 55 to 70 percent of insurable earnings, and setting premium rates higher in good economic times and lower in bad times.
Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy

Jobless? Why You Might Not Get Employment Insurance
These days, far fewer unemployed are eligible.
'Reforms' fattened surpluses, failed to prepare for bad times say critics.

By Tom Sandborn
February 19, 2009
If you are one of the 129,000 Canadian workers who lost a job last month, maybe you take comfort that all those employment insurance payments were deducted from your previous paycheques. Now you can count on insurance payments to get you through tough times, right? Maybe not. The EI safety net features a lot more gaps than it did a decade and a half ago. By some measures, only 42 per cent of Canada's unemployed workers are receiving EI payments, roughly half the percentage covered during the late 1980s. Just when far more Canadians are poised to need it, the nation's unemployment insurance scheme is broken, say a growing chorus of critics.
Source:
The Tyee

From the Toronto Star:

Jobless rate shows EI reform needed
Editorial
February 7, 2009
With the loss of 129,000 jobs across Canada in January – a record for a single month – the spotlight has returned to the federal stimulus package and whether it goes far enough to address the current crisis. The $35 billion package, released as part of the federal budget on Jan. 27, contains some funding to help the jobless by enhancing skills training and extending Employment Insurance benefits for an extra five weeks. Unfortunately, however, a majority of unemployed Canadians are not eligible for Employment Insurance, often because they work on contract or part-time or in seasonal jobs that don't last long enough for them to qualify.

Flaherty faces five choices on EI
January 12, 2009
By Carol Goar
Canada's employment insurance system is outdated, inequitable, stingy and at serious risk of insolvency in a protracted economic downturn. The dilemma facing Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, should he decide to fix it, is figuring out which problem to tackle first. He is not short of advice. Business lobbyists, union officials, municipal leaders, economists and social activists have all put forward their prescriptions in the run-up to this month's budget. But Flaherty can't say yes to everybody. Even if he were to make significant investment in jobless benefits – say $3 billion – he'd have to set priorities. The damage done by 30 years of cutting and dismantling can't be undone in one budget. The finance minister has five basic options...

Employment Insurance in desperate need of repair
January 9, 2009
By Carol Goar
For the first time since the Great Depression, Canada is heading into a serious recession with one of its economic stabilizers badly broken. Stabilizers are government programs that work automatically to moderate swings in the economic cycle. The three main ones are employment insurance, which provides a cushion for people who lose their jobs; welfare, which keeps people from hitting rock bottom; and income taxes, which decrease when people's earnings shrink. The one that is broken is employment insurance (although welfare is in sorry shape). If forecasters are right, 200,000 Canadians will lose their jobs this year. If current trends continue, just 108,000 will qualify for employment insurance benefits and 82,000 will actually receive them.

[ earlier articles by Carol Goar ]

Women shut out of Employment Insurance: Study
November 22, 2007
By Monica Townson & Kevin Hayes
TORONTO – Most women are getting shut out of Employment Insurance (EI) coverage in Canada, says a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The gap between men's and women’s EI coverage is significant: 40 percent of unemployed men received EI benefits in 2004 while only 32 percent of unemployed women did. “Essentially, two in every three working women who pay into EI don’t receive a single penny in benefits if they lose their jobs,” says CCPA Research Associate Monica Townson, who co-authored Women and The Employment Insurance Program with Kevin Hayes.

Complete study:

Women and the Employment Insurance Program (PDF file - 796K, 40 pages)
Version française:
Les femmes et le programme d'assurance-emploi (fichier PDF - 781 Ko, 40 pages)

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.

[ more CCPA reports and studies ]

Related link:

Employment Insurance short-changes women, study suggests
November 21, 2007
Canadian women are being unfairly short-changed by the country's Employment Insurance system, which was made more restrictive a decade ago and now boasts a multibillion-dollar surplus, a study concludes. The study for the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, to be released today, finds the qualification requirements for EI have left many women who lose their jobs out of pocket despite having paid their fair share of premiums.
Source:
Toronto Star


Oldie Goldies:

Employment Insurance in Canada: History, Structure and Issues
By Jay Makarenko
September 22, 2009
Employment insurance in Canada is a legacy of the Great Depression, and remains a pillar of the nation’s modern social programs. Since its creation in 1940, the program has undergone many significant evolutions, both philosophically and structurally. Moreover, debate over the program has remained constant throughout its existence, and is still present in contemporary political discourse. This feature provides an introduction to the history, administration, and issues relating to Employment Insurance in Canada.
---
Table of Contents:
* History of Employment Insurance in Canada
- Historical overview of public employment insurance
* Administration of the Employment Insurance Program - Laws, bureaucracies, processes, and finances of employment insurance
* Issues Concerning Employment Insurance in Canada - Debates on the philosophy and structure of employment insurance
* Sources and Links to More Information - List of article sources and links to more on this topic

Source:
Mapleleafweb
Maple Leaf Web is a non-profit, non-partisan Canadian political education web-site that aims to provide educators, students and the attentive public with a credible source for political education and information.
NOTE : As of Jan. 17, 2011, after 11 years of publishing Canadian political educational materials on the Internet, Mapleleafweb.com will no longer be actively maintained.


Back to the Future?
(Links to related TV clips that I found quite by accident
as I was looking for something else on the CBC Digital Archives page):

The exhaustees (TV clip, 6:10)
Broadcast Date: Nov. 4, 1982
With no work to be found amidst sky-high unemployment rates in 1982, Jim Lees reluctantly joins a club that is welcoming thousands of new members a month. "Exhaustees," as the government calls them, are people whose unemployment benefits have run out. From a former salary of $2,300 monthly, Lees is now applying for welfare benefits of just $800 to support his wife and two daughters. In this CBC-TV clip, his wife Wendy admits that while it bothers her to be forced onto welfare, she isn't in a position to refuse it.

Unemployment hits Windsor autoworkers (TV clip, 13:55)
Broadcast Date: Jan. 5, 1958
Frank Blair has been without a job for eight months. In his hometown of Windsor, Ont., the father of two (soon to be three) is not alone: some 21,000 members of the local labour force are out of work in late 1957, half of them workers in the city's idled auto plants.

Links to more historical resources about UNemployment Insurance from the CBC Digital Archives:
* What is social security? (In 1945, a panel of military men and women discuss unemployment insurance as part of Canada's social security system.)
* On the Dole: Employment Insurance in Canada
* So you need to collect UI?
* UI gets richer in 1971
* Gainfully unemployed
* The pogey police
* Unemployment reaches all-time high
* A Maritime way of life?
* Forget Commission seeks UI reform

Source:
CBC Digital Archives

- Go to the Social Statistics Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/stats.htm


Report of the Commisssion of Inquiry on the Unemployment Insurance Act (link to the complete final report)
Date: 1962
Chair: Ernest C. Gill
[ Version française de ce document ]

Table of Contents [PDF 123 KB]
Chapters 1 – 3 [PDF 5.0 MB]
Chapters 4 – 5, Appendices [PDF 5.1 MB]


Commission of Inquiry on Unemployment Insurance
November 1986

Chair: Claude Forget
[ Version française de ce document ]

Summary Report

Table of Contents [PDF 29 KB]
Pages 1 – 42
[PDF 7.0 MB]
Pages 43 – 85
[PDF 3.5 MB]

Complete Report

Table of Contents [PDF 233 KB]
Part I Chapter 1 – Part II Chapter 5
[PDF 11.9 MB]
Part II Chapter 6 – Part IV Chapter 11
[PDF 10.4 MB]
Part IV Chapter 12, Appendices, Biographies of Commissioners, List of Staff and Consultants
[PDF 5.4 MB]
Part V
[PDF 6.4 MB]

Source:
Index to Federal Royal Commissions
[ Library and Archives Canada - LAC]


Measuring Trends in the Coverage of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Insurance (PDF - 92K, 28 pages)
Prepared by
Richard Shillington, Ph.D.
June 2001
Source:
Tristat Resources (Richard Shillington's website)


Not-So-Oldies but still Goldies:

From the
Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults:

Time for a Fair Deal: Report of the Task Force on
Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults
(PDF file - 282K, 67 pages)
May 2006
(...)
Recommendation 1:
The Task Force believes that Employment Insurance is and should remain the primary program for delivering income support to workers who are temporarily unemployed. The federal government should reform EI to address the significant decline in coverage of the unemployed and the related decline in access to employment supports and training offered under EI-Part II.(...)

---

Employment Insurance: Research Summary for the
Task Force for Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults

Ontarians Can No Longer Count On Employment Insurance To Provide Temporary Income Between Jobs
Toronto and Ottawa Have Lowest Coverage in Canada
(PDF - 613K, 11 pages)
October 6, 2005
By Jill Black and Richard Shillington
Highlights
- EI coverage has declined precipitously for a number of reasons, many to do with changes in the labour market that the program wasn't designed to handle; new initiatives should therefore be considered to fill the gap.
- Toronto and many other Ontario cities have extremely low EI coverage, likely due to high employment and high immigration; there is no comprehensive or definitive assessment of what is driving low coverage, but program changes in the 1990s clearly contributed to EI coverage becoming increasingly unbalanced. This needs to be understood better, and part of the solution may lie in EI program changes.

---

Ontarians Can No Longer Count on Employment Insurance to Provide Temporary Income between Jobs
Toronto and Ottawa Have Lowest Coverage in Canada
(PDF file - 68K, 2 pages)
Press Release
October 6, 2005
"The Task Force for Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults released its review of Employment Insurance (EI) today, revealing that EI no longer fulfils its role of providing temporary
income to most unemployed Canadians who are between jobs."

Source:
Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults ("MISWAA")
MISWAA was formed in the fall of 2004 by the Toronto City Summit Alliance, a broad-based coalition of civic leaders in the Toronto region, and by St. Christopher House, a multi-service neighbourhood centre that works with low-income people in Toronto. The Task Force is a diverse group made-up of over fifty experts and leaders from major employers, policy institutes, labour unions, academia, community organizations, advocacy groups, foundations and governments, as well as individuals with first-hand knowledge of income security programs.
- incl. links to : In the News · Press Releases · Task Force and Working Group Members · Contact Us · Papers · Frequently Asked Questions

---

Measuring Employment Insurance Effectiveness: Data Note (PDF - 71K, 7 pages)
Prepared by
Richard Shillington, Ph.D.
February 2005

Source:
Tristat Resources (Richard Shillington's website)

International

From the Los Angeles Times:

Unemployment benefits expire as Congress debates extension
Lawmakers are likely to take up the issue when they return from spring break next week. The sticking point is how to pay for an extension.
By Clement Tan
April 6, 2010
As unemployment benefits expired Monday for tens of thousands of jobless workers, Democrats and Republicans renewed their haggling over whether to vote for an extension when Congress returns from its spring break next week. At the heart of the dispute is whether the extension should be offset by spending cuts, as Republicans are demanding, or whether it constitutes an emergency, as Democrats say. The expiration means 212,000 unemployed people will lose benefits this week, according to figures provided by the National Employment Law Project.

Editorial
A federal balancing act
Congress won't resolve the federal deficit problem by arguing over emergency spending programs aimed at spurring the economy. The real problems are far larger.
April 18, 2010
Call it Congress' version of "lather, rinse, repeat." Last week, lawmakers approved a short-term extension of unemployment benefits after overcoming yet another GOP filibuster, the third such extension since December. The extension lasts only until early June, so Congress may soon be going through the same routine again. Republicans object to borrowing money to finance the extra benefits, while Democrats refuse to offset the additional spending by cutting other parts of the budget.

Source:
Los Angeles Times

---------------------------------

Related links:

Unemployment Insurance - from the U.S. Department of Labor

Unemployment benefits - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Links to Information about
Unemployment Insurance
programs in each state in the U.S.

- from America's Service Locator

---

National Employment Law Project
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) responds (to worker insecurity and inequality) by working to restore the promise of economic opportunity in the 21st century economy. (...) We partner with strong advocacy networks, grounded in the full range of stakeholders - grassroots groups and national organizations, worker centers and unions, policymakers and think tanks.

NELP Issues: Unemployment Insurance
In an increasingly volatile economy, working families need a strong unemployment insurance program - one that is there in hard times to help them pay the bills and find new jobs that meet their needs and aspirations. However, the unemployment insurance safety net has failed to keep pace with the changing labor force, especially the growth in women, part-time and low-wage workers. In response, policymakers in over half the states have adopted significant reforms in recent years to modernize their unemployment insurance (UI) programs.

Unemployed Workers Home
A special project of the National Employment Law Project

---

Compared to Canada?

International unemployment rates:
how comparable are they?
(PDF - 96K, 18 pages)
September 2001
Adjusted to U.S. concepts, the Canadian unemployment rate is reduced by 1 percentage point; effects of adjustments on European unemployment rates are smaller.
Source:
Department of Labor

---

Unemployment compensation in a worldwide recession (PDF - 80K, 13 pages)
By W. Vroman and V. Brusentsev
June 2009
(International data)
Source:
The Urban Institute, Washington


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