Employment Insurance Statistics - Monthly (EIS)

Detailed information for November 2011





Record number:


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

Data release - January 19, 2012


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, four surveys tell a more complete story of current labour market events. These surveys are: the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) Employment Insurance Statistics (EIS) and Job Vacancy Statistics (JVS). The LFS focuses on its strengths: timely data on the labour market, including the unemployment rate and demographic analysis. SEPH reports, which come out later each month, show greater detail on non-farm industry employment and earnings. EIS provides substantial detail on recipients of EI regular benefits by detailed geography, by socio-demographics and by former occupation. JVS offers information on labour demand by reporting on the number of job vacancies by industry.

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: Employment Insurance beneficiary micro data file: First working day of the month. 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 does not apply.


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

Data are extracted from administrative files.

Claim and benefit payments aggregates are received monthly from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

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


This methodology does not apply.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that 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.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Employment Insurance Statistics Program data are produced from an administrative data source and may, from time to time, be affected by changes to the Employment Insurance Act or administrative procedures. An annual revision is undertaken each spring.

Data accuracy

The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all persons who received EI benefits during the reference week. This week coincides with the reference week of the Labour Force Survey, usually the week including the 15th day of the month.

Regional EI data are not seasonally adjusted and therefore should only be compared on a year-over-year basis. These comparisons can be influenced by unusual spikes or declines in the end points of the period.

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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