Changes to Employment Insurance in the territories

As of October 12, 2014, changes to Employment Insurance (EI) for claimants in the territories will better align the EI program with the strengthening economies of the North, and ensure that those living in areas with similar labour market realities across Canada receive similar EI treatment.

Historically, EI claims in the three EI economic regions of Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have been established using an administratively set unemployment rate of 25 percent. This is not reflective of the true state of the economy in the North, where actual regional unemployment rates have been well below this administratively set figure.

New economic regions and regional unemployment rates for EI purposes

Recognizing that jobs and opportunities differ greatly between the capital areas of Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit and the more remote areas, each territory will be divided into two EI regions. One EI region will consist of a territory’s capital area and the other region will consist of the rest of that territory.

In addition, to further ensure that the EI program is more closely aligned to the economic realities in the territories, the administratively set unemployment rate will be replaced with a measure of each EI region’s prevailing regional unemployment rate, as is done in the rest of the country. An EI region’s unemployment rate is generally used to determine whether and for how long a claimant is entitled to receive EI benefits as well as how much they are entitled to receive.

EI will continue to be there for Canadians living in areas where jobs are simply not available. To determine your EI economic region and find out the rate of unemployment in your region, visit Information on Employment Insurance (EI) Economic Regions.

Staying connected to the Labour Market

A modernized and easy-to-use national Job Bank is now available. It features job postings from public and private-sector job boards and an enhanced search function that allows job seekers to search by occupation, industry, required skills and location. Job Bank also provides detailed and up-to-date labour market information that helps job seekers discover what skills and education are required to get the jobs they want in industries that are hiring. Visit Job Bank at

In addition, the improved Job Alerts system is helping Canadians find out about jobs in their communities that match their skills. Subscribers receive an email notification up to twice a day of new jobs posted on Job Bank as well as relevant, up-to-date information on the job market. Since its introduction, millions of alerts have been sent out to Canadians. Subscribe to Job Alerts.

Support for jobs, growth and prosperity in Canada’s north

The Government of Canada is committed to promoting social and economic development in the North. As part of its Northern Strategy, the Government will continue its focus on the North and will work with the three territorial governments to create jobs and economic growth.

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