Employment Insurance Statistics - Monthly (EIS)

Detailed information for November 2016





Record number:


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

Data release - January 18, 2017


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.

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

Collection period: 1. Employment Insurance beneficiary micro data file: First working day of the month.
2. Employment Insurance supplementary aggregate data file: Second last working day of the month.


  • Employment and unemployment
  • Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
  • Labour

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The number of EI beneficiaries represents a count of persons who qualified for employment insurance benefits during the Labour Force Survey reference week, usually the week containing the 15th day of the month. Therefore, individuals who exhaust their benefits the week before the survey reference period or who start to collect benefits the week after are not included in the count of beneficiaries for that month.

The number of claims represents a count of persons who made a claim during the reference month. Similarly, the number of disqualifications and disentitlements is based on the set of all claims processed during the reference month. Finally, the benefit payments and the number of weeks paid cover the whole reference month.

Instrument design

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


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

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

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, as well as coherence rules, 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. This is done during the processing step.

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.

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.


  • Guide to Employment Insurance Statistics (EIS)
    The Guide to Employment Insurance Statistics (EIS) summarizes the survey methodology and data source and includes a dictionary of concepts and definitions used by the program.

    Last review : January 16, 2017.
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