Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report 2014/2015 - Highlights

The 2014/2015 Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report presents the findings of the analysis of the Employment Insurance (EI) program for the 2014/2015 fiscal year. The highlights presented below relate to the 2014/2015 fiscal year or reflect changes between 2013/2014 and 2014/2015.

Canada’s economy and labour market saw moderate growth and the unemployment rate declined slightly.

  • Real gross domestic product grew by 2.4% in 2014/2015, the same growth rate as in 2013/2014.
  • Employment rose by 103,000 (+0.6%). This represents the fifth consecutive annual increase. Meanwhile, the annual unemployment rate has fallen below 7.0% for the first time since the 2008 recession, dropping from 7.0% to 6.9%.

The number of regular claims and the amount paid increased, while the number of work-sharing claims and benefit payments continued to decline.

  • The number of new regular claims established in 2014/2015 increased by 1.3% to 1.34 million. Despite a downward trend since the 2008 recession, the number of claims remained 3.8% higher than the level (1.29 million) observed in 2007/2008. Regular benefit payments, for their part, increased by 2.3% in 2014/2015 to $10.6 billion.
  • The number of new work-sharing claims decreased by 31.3% to 8,024 claims, which is below the 14,047 claims established in 2007/2008 before the recession. In 2014/2015, the amount paid in work-sharing benefits was $17.7 million, a decrease of 16.9% from the previous year.

The eligibility rate for regular benefits decreased, but is still above pre-recession levels.

  • Among unemployed workers who had contributed EI premiums in the 12 previous months and had a valid job separation, 83.1% were eligible to receive EI regular benefits in 2014. This EI eligibility rate decreased by 2.7 percentage points from 85.8% in 2013 but remains above pre-2008 recession levels (82.3% in 2007 and 82.7% in 2006).
  • The decrease was attributable mainly to a shift in the labour market characteristics of unemployed EI contributors with a valid job separation, particularly the former permanent full-time workers and the former temporary non-seasonal workers, who saw their eligibility rate decline.

The number of special claims and fishing claims increased.

  • The number of new special claims established increased by 1.8% to 526,100 in 2014/2015. The amount paid in special benefits increased for the fourth consecutive year by 4.1% to $4.9 billion.
  • While the number of fishing claims has been declining for several years, the number of new claims established in 2014/2015 increased by 1.5% to 27,587, The amount paid in fishing benefits payments increased by 3.1% to $256 million.

Participation in Employment Benefits and Support Measures declined year over year.

  • A total of 689,459 clients (-3.0%) participated in 1,106,750 interventions (-2.8%).
  • All three client type counts declined: active claimants (-2.6%); former claimants (-5.6%) and non-insured clients (-2.7%).
  • The use of Employment Assistance Services interventions declined by 2.7% to 936,144, while Employment Benefits interventions dropped by 4.8%, reaching 142,389.
  • The Skills Development (SD) component, which makes up over 82.5% of all Employment Benefits interventions, declined by 2.3%. SD Regular use dropped by 10.1%, while SD Apprentice increased by 4.1%.
  • Provinces and territories focused on developing and delivering skills training to meet current and future skills requirements, and on increasing the skills and participation of underrepresented groups such as immigrants, youth, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and Indigenous people.

Service Canada continued to respond to a high volume of Employment Insurance claims.

  • Service Canada received 2.80 million EI applications in 2014/2015, which represents an increase from the previous fiscal year (2.78 million applications in 2013/2014).
  • Clients made over 4.0 million EI-related in-person service requests while 3.8 million enquiries were answered by the EI Specialized Call Centres and over 556,000 EI-related enquiries were received at 1 800 O-Canada. The Employer Contact Centre (ECC) answered a total of 610,952 calls in 2014/2015.
  • With continued investment in technologies to support automated processing of benefits, 67.2% of EI claims were partially or fully automated in 2014/2015. Employers submitted 80.2% of Records of Employment online and 93.4% of clients received their EI benefit payments via direct deposit.
  • The payment accuracy rate increased slightly to 95.5% in 2014/2015 from 95.4% in 2013/2014. Errors included overpayments and underpayments attributable to three sources: claimants, employers and Service Canada. For 2014/2015, errors by claimants accounted for 49% of the total Most Likely Value of mispayments, while employer errors and Service Canada errors accounted for 28% and 23% respectively.
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