OTTAWA–Canadian new and renewal claims for jobless benefits surged 9.7% in May on a month-over-month basis — the largest increase since the 2008-09 financial crisis — to 264,240, Statistics Canada said Thursday.
The data agency said resource-reliant Alberta drove the advance as wildfires in the province forced residents of Fort McMurray, or the heart of the Alberta oilsands, to evacuate. In Alberta, claims for benefits under the country’s unemployment-insurance program soared nearly 70% in May, or the largest monthly gain in any Canadian province since 1997.
Job insurance claims are an indication of the number of people who could begin receiving unemployment benefits.
The number of people receiving regular jobless benefits increased 0.9% in May from April to 544,930, Statistics Canada added. On a year-over-year basis, the total number of people receiving jobless benefits increased 2.4%. Write to Paul Vieira at firstname.lastname@example.org