The number of British Columbians receiving Employment Insurance benefits in December 2008 was up 33.2 percent from the same month a year earlier.
The gain was the largest in Canada, with Alberta (30.3 percent) and Ontario (29.6 percent) close behind, according to figures released by Statistics Canada today.
Across Canada the average increase was 16.6 percent. The number of men collecting EI grew faster (21.7 percent) than the number of women (8.6 percent) getting benefits. A total of 538,200 people were getting regular EI benefits in December.
Of Canadian cities, Victoria had the fourth largest gain, with 49.1 percent more people receiving EI than a year earlier.
Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.