OTTAWA - The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits decreased by 24,800, or 4.4 per cent, in July to 535,700, the largest of 10 straight monthly declines.
Statistics Canada reports there were notable percentage decreases in all provinces except New Brunswick, where it was little changed, and Newfoundland and Labrador, where the number of beneficiaries was up slightly.
But the agency says that, while there were fewer people receiving benefits in July, the number of initial and renewal claims rose by 8,800, or 3.8 per cent, to 243,300, the third increase in four months.
The highest percentage increase in claims took place in Ontario, where they rose 19 per cent.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the number of claims fell for the second straight month, down 10 per cent.
There were fewer people receiving regular EI benefits in July, with the largest percentage decrease occurring in Manitoba, down 9.1 per cent to 11,700.
The number of beneficiaries also fell in Quebec (down 5.8 per cent), Ontario (5.7), Alberta (5.4), Saskatchewan (5.3), Nova Scotia (5.2) and British Columbia (4.2).
Newfoundland and Labrador (up 1.2 per cent), which was the lone province where there were more beneficiaries in July, posted a second consecutive increase.