Employment Insurance Statistics - Monthly (EIS)

Detailed information for September 2016





Record number:


This survey is conducted to release the official statistics which report on the operation of the Employment Insurance Program.

Data release - November 22, 2016


This survey is conducted to release the official statistics which report on the operation of the Employment Insurance Program and to provide complementary labour market statistics at the national and provincial level, as well as for sub-provincial areas. The statistics released include the number of beneficiaries, types of benefits, benefit payments, the number of claims, as well as the number of disqualifications and disentitlements. Estimates are also produced by detailed age and for 140 occupation groups. These statistics are not usually covered by other Statistics Canada surveys.

Statistical activity

Together, five surveys tell a more complete story of current labour market events. These surveys are: the Labour Force Survey (LFS, record number 3701), the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH, record number 2612), Employment Insurance Statistics (EIS, record number 2604), Job Vacancy Statistics (JVS, record number 5202), and the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS, record number 5217). Every month, the LFS provides timely data on the labour market, including the unemployment rate and demographic analysis. Later on, the SEPH report shows greater detail on non-farm industry employment and earnings. EIS provides substantial detail on Employment Insurance benefits by geography, socio-demographics and former occupation. JVS (as part of SEPH) offers monthly information on labour demand by reporting on the number of job vacancies by industry. JVWS provides information on job vacancies (quarterly) and wages (annually) by occupation and economic region.


  • Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
  • Labour
  • Non-wage benefits

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The number of beneficiaries represents a count of persons who qualified for unemployment insurance benefits during the Labour Force Survey reference week, usually containing the 15th day of the month.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files.

Claim and benefit payment data aggregated by province and territory are received monthly from Employment and Social Development Canada.

A monthly microdata file at the beneficiary level, containing detailed information such as benefit types, is provided by Service Canada.

Error detection

Edits and verification procedures are applied to the claim and benefit payments aggregate file as well as the beneficiary microdata file to ensure the data is of the best quality possible.

Quality evaluation

The use of administrative data coming from outside Statistics Canada can limit the level of quality control over the data. Comparisons between the received files to those from previous months are applied to detect and correct possible anomalies. In addition, estimates are revised in light of updated files sent by data providers. Finally, structural changes done to the files could impact the data, and/or delay production and data release.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

The preliminary raw estimates released each month are subject to revision as new and/or updated information becomes available. The raw data are extracted from an administrative source and, as such, may change, reflecting changes to administrative procedures as well as changes to the Employment Insurance Act.

With the release of data for a new reference month, the preliminary raw estimates for the month prior to the penultimate month are revised, using newly available information. The raw estimates for the penultimate month remain intact, but are revised the following month.

Example: In a raw series ending in January 2015:

Nov-2014 is the month prior to the penultimate month: data are revised
Dec-2014 is the penultimate month data are: (still) preliminary
Jan-2015 is the new reference month: data are preliminary

EI time series may be subject to seasonal and/or calendar effects. Seasonal effects are the monthly fluctuations which occur more or less regularly from year to year. They result from composite effects of climatic events, institutional decisions or modes of operation which occur repeatedly with some regularity within the year. Calendar effects are related to the composition of the calendar. They include trading-day effects associated with the location of the Labour Force Survey reference week, moving holiday effects associated with non-fixed date holidays such as Easter, and other predictable events from the calendar.

As the fundamental trend-cycle component of the series is masked by these effects, EI series are also available in seasonally adjusted form, where seasonal and calendar effects have been estimated and removed, using the X-12-ARIMA method. Time series with no identifiable seasonal patterns remain unchanged from the raw series. Seasonal adjustment is performed following Statistics Canada's Quality Guidelines.

The seasonally adjusted data are also subject to revision. As new and/or revised data become available, the various time series components such as the seasonal and calendar effects can be better estimated. This results in revised and more accurate estimates for past seasonally adjusted values. On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted estimates are produced for the new reference month and revised for the previous two months. For example, January seasonally adjusted data will be estimated for the first time and both November and December seasonally adjusted values will be revised.

Example: In a seasonally adjusted series ending in January 2015:

Nov-2014 is the month prior to the penultimate month: data are revised
Dec-2014 is the penultimate month: data are revised
Jan-2015 is the new reference month: data are preliminary

Once a year, seasonally adjusted series are revised going back three years to reflect the most recent trends in the raw data and more accurate estimates of the seasonal patterns. Revisions may also be made on an occasional basis due to other reasons (for example, changes to standard classifications).

Data accuracy

Since estimates are based on a census of administrative data, there is no sampling variability. However, changes in the data do not reflect only changes in the labour market conditions. Particularly, these statistics may, from time to time, be affected by changes to the employment insurance program or administrative procedures. A list of recent changes is available on Service Canada web site (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/ei/whatsnew.shtml).

EI statistics indicate the number of people who received EI benefits, and should not be confused with data coming from the Labour Force Survey, which provides information on the total number of unemployed.

There is always a certain proportion of unemployed people who do not qualify for benefits. Some unemployed people have not contributed to the program because they have not worked in the past 12 months or their employment is not insured. Other unemployed people have contributed to the program but do not meet the eligibility criteria, such as workers who left their job voluntarily or those who did not accumulate enough hours of work to receive benefits.

These statistics apply to regular benefits. Regular benefits are paid to claimants who temporarily or permanently lost their employment. In order to be eligible for regular benefits, a person must have experienced an interruption of earnings, be capable and available for work and unable to find suitable employment.


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