Employment and Social Development Canada: ESDC 101

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Overall summary

ESDC builds a strong Canadian economy where all Canadians have opportunities to participate and benefit.

The ESDC 101 infographic gives an overview of the core programs and services offered to Canadians throughout their lives; it shows the scale of the Department’s importance and the extent to which its budget directly benefits Canadians in all parts of the country. Through its programs and services, ESDC ensures that post-secondary education and apprenticeship training are more affordable and accessible to all Canadians, and that eligible Canadians are provided with retirement, survivor and disability benefits. The Department offers programs and initiatives that promote skills development and labour market participation, provides temporary income support to eligible unemployed workers, and conducts research and analysis on labour and workplace issues.

Alternate formats

Employment and Social Development Canada: ESDC 101 (complete version) [PDF – 230 KB]

Figure 1: Who we are
Figure 2: Who we are
Figure 1 – Text version
  • The Department has 3 portfolios: Employment and Social Development Canada, the Labour Program and Service Canada.
  • ESDC administers 31 grants and contributions programs
  • In 2018 to 2019, ESDC spent $130.3 billion on its wide array of policy, programs and services, representing 35% of total federal government expenditures1. Of that amount, 93.6% ($122 billion2) were to provide direct benefits to Canadians, corresponding to 5.5%3 of Canada’s gross domestic product. A further 2.6% ($3.3 billion) was transferred to the provinces and territories4
  • The Department’s gross operating budget represented 2.6% ($3.4 billion) of the overall department’s spending. In addition, another 1.2% ($1.6 billion) was provided to other government departments and organizations5
  • Four flagship programs: Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and Canada Student Loans
  • Employment and Social Development Canada has over 25 000 employees, over 65% of whom are located outside of the National Capital Region
  • 1If the Canada Pension Plan expenditures, which are not consolidated in the federal public accounts, are excluded, ESDC’s expenditure represent 25% of total federal government expenditures in 2018-2019.
  • 2$122B is comprised of statutory payments made directly to Canadians as well as programs providing benefits to Canadians through grants and contributions.
  • 3www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3610010401
  • 4The transfers to provinces and territories include Labour Market Development Agreements (Employment Insurance-funded), Workforce Development Agreements and Early Learning and Child Care.
  • 5This includes administrative costs related to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, administrative costs of other federal department related to delivery of Employment Insurance benefits, Employment Insurance doubtful accounts and Workers Compensation.
Figure 2: Where you can find us
Figure 3: Where you an find us
Figure 2 – Text version
  • Service Canada provides Canadians with a single point of access to a wide range of government services and benefits
  • Canadians are able to access our services across the country at 318 Service Canada Centres, 247 scheduled outreach sites, 15 service delivery partner’s sites, and 31 passport service sites
Figure 3: What we do
Figure 4: What we do
Figure 3 – Text version

Employment and Social Development Canada develops economic and social policies and programs that support and improve the well-being of Canadians.

Our core responsibilities

  • Social development: increase inclusion and opportunities for Canadians to participate in their communities
  • Pension and benefits: assist Canadians in maintaining income for retirement, and provide financial benefits to survivors, people with disabilities and their families
  • Learning, skills development and employment: help Canadians access post-secondary education and get the skills and training they need to participate in a changing labour market, as well as provide support to those who are temporarily unemployed
  • Working conditions and workplace relations: promote safe, healthy, fair and inclusive working conditions and cooperative workplace relations
  • Information and service delivery: deliver a wide range of federal programs and services and information, including on behalf of other government departments

    Portfolio organizations

    • Canada Employment Insurance Commission
    • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    • Social Security Tribunal of Canada
    • Canada Industrial Relations Board
    • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
    • Policy Horizons Canada
    • Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization

    Employment and Social Development Canada delivers a wide range of programs and services that help Canadians move through life’s transitions, for example:

    From early childhood to post-secondary education…

    • Canada Child Benefit (led by Finance with support from ESDC)
    • Early Learning and Child Care

    …from school to work,

    • Canada Student Loans and Grants
    • Trades and Apprenticeship Program

    …from one job to another,

    • Canada Training Benefit (2020)
    • Job Bank
    • Future Skills

    …from unemployment to employment,

    • Employment Insurance
    • Training programs

    …from the workforce to retirement.

    • Old Age Security / Guaranteed Income Supplement
    • Canada Pension Plan

    Helping Canadians with distinct needs.

    • Canadian Pension Plan / Disability
    • Enabling Accessibility Fund
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: