Employment Insurance Statistics - Monthly (EIS)
Detailed information for March 2023
This survey is conducted to release the official statistics which report on the operation of the Employment Insurance Program.
Data release - May 18, 2023
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.
Together, four 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), 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 and the JVWS supplies preliminary indicators on job vacancies. EIS provides substantial detail on Employment Insurance benefits by geography, socio-demographics and former occupation. Every quarter, the JVWS provides detailed information on job vacancies 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: 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
Data sources and methodology
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.
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 are extracted from administrative files.
The Employment Insurance beneficiary microdata file contains employment insurance beneficiaries' information (such as: occupations, geography, age, sex, etc.). It is provided by Service Canada under the authority of the Statistic Act
The Employment Insurance supplementary aggregate data file contains employment insurance supplementary information (such as: claims, disqualifications and disentitlements, benefits paid, etc.). It is provided by Employment and Social Development Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act.
Edits and verification procedures, as well as coherence rules, are applied to the beneficiary microdata file as well as the claim and benefit payments aggregate file to ensure the data is of the best quality possible. This is done during the processing step.
No imputation is done by Statistics Canada. Any issues are addressed by Employment and Social Development Canada.
This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.
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.
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.
Revisions and seasonal adjustment
Each month, Statistics Canada releases the EIS data for a new reference month. Two months later, an updated microdata file becomes available and the statistics related to the beneficiaries are subject to revision. For example, in the March release, the January data are estimated for the first time, the December seasonally adjusted data are reviewed with new parameters, and all November data are revised. Although estimates associated with months prior to November may have changed because of seasonal adjustments, those are only released with an annual or historical revision.
Note that data for claims, benefit weeks and benefit payments are all produced from aggregate data and are not subject to monthly revisions.
Annual or historical revision
On an annual basis, seasonal adjustment models are revised to include the latest year of data. This revision affects the last three years.
In addition, a historical revision is done occasionally to maintain the comparability of time series and current estimates during major changes affecting the survey. These changes may be warranted by a change in concepts, occupational and/or geographical classification systems and methods.
These revisions are normal in a complex survey program. All components of the EIS are subject to annual or historical revision. Revisions should always be taken into consideration by data users.
Some of the data series are seasonally adjusted to facilitate month-to-month comparisons and to show trends. A seasonally adjusted time series is a monthly or quarterly time series that has been modified to eliminate seasonal and calendar effects. These variations result from the 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 and 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. The seasonal adjustments are based on statistical models that are reviewed every year. However, the parameters of those models change every time a new data point (month) is added to the series. This results in revised and more accurate estimates for past seasonally adjusted values.
For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data - Frequently asked questions. Seasonal adjustment is performed according to Statistics Canada's Quality Guidelines.
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.
- 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 : October 18, 2018.
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