Rate of eligibility for EI fell in 2011 to lowest in a decade: StatsCan
OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says the rate of eligibility for getting regular employment insurance benefits fell in 2011 to its lowest level in nearly a decade.
The hardest-hit groups were people aged 25 to 44 and women of all ages, mainly because they hadn't worked enough hours to qualify for regular EI benefits.
To be eligible for regular employment insurance, people must have contributed to the program while working and accumulate enough insurable hours.
A total of 867,000 unemployed individuals contributed to the EI program in 2011, down from 913,000 a year earlier.
Of these, about 695,000 had a job separation that met the criteria, but only 545,000, or 78.4 per cent, had worked enough hours.
The 2011 eligibility rate is down from 83.9 per cent in 2010 and is the lowest since 2003, the earliest year for which comparable data are available.
The agency says fewer unemployed people had lost permanent, full-time jobs where they were most likely to have worked enough hours to qualify and more were in temporary, non-seasonal work, where they accumulated fewer hours.