The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits rose slightly in November in the Calgary region and in Alberta, according to Statistics Canada.
The federal agency reported Thursday that in the Calgary census metropolitan area there were 9,510 people receiving benefits, up by 30 people or 0.3 per cent from October. In Alberta, it rose by 220 people, or 0.8 per cent, to 28,980 in November.
Nationally, EI beneficiaries dipped by 0.3 per cent, or 1,450 people, to 490,470.
On an annual basis, Calgary saw a decline of 5.1 per cent or 510 people; Alberta dropped by 4.5 per cent or 1,350 people; and Canada was down by 28,760 people or 5.5 per cent.
Nick Ford, economist with ATB Financial, said employment insurance claims rose by almost six per cent in Alberta province in November, “a sign that oil’s price plunge may be starting to show.”
“Interestingly, even though there were more beneficiaries and claimants of employment insurance in Alberta in November, according to the labour force survey figures, our province actually gained 5,700 jobs that month,” he said.
“As news of layoffs linger and businesses cut capital spending plans, many will find the prospect of regaining and obtaining employment more difficult. As such, it’s likely we will see an increase in the amount of both employment insurance recipients and claimants.”