News Volume of Employment Insurance beneficiaries continues to plummet in BC SHARE ON: Brendan Pawliw, staff Thursday, Jan. 18th, 2018 The number of people collecting extra money from Ottawa’s Employment Insurance program in BC is sinking faster than the Titanic. When compared to November of 2016, over 47,000 people collected benefits across the province – a decline of over 16%. The drop was the second fastest decline among all the provinces. Prince George enjoyed a similar fate with a decline of over 18% in the past year. The sharp declines can be pinned to a policy change. “Part of the reason on why we are seeing these larger declines is because in July of 2016 there were policy changes that were introduced to the Employment Insurance program and in the latter half of that year the number of beneficiaries was unusually high,” says Marton Lovei, Statistics Canada Analyst. In Canada, just under 507,000 people are on EI – a decline of less than one percent from November of 2016. “Across the country was an increase in the number of beneficiaries in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and Nova Scotia, but those increases were offset with declines in Ontario and Quebec.” Over the past 12 months, BC’s unemployment rate has dipped from 6.1% to 4.8% – the lowest in Canada.