To respond to the needs of municipalities and community-level organizations to get a clear picture of unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic response, Statistics Canada is making Employment Insurance Statistics available at the Census Subdivision level. Starting February 2021, the Community Data Program should be receiving CSD-level EIS updates on a monthly basis.
The data series is split into three files, one running from January 2000 to February 2020, a second which contains data from January 2020 to November 2020, and a third containing data from October 2020 to December 2020. Please note that November and December are preliminary results. November results will be finalized when we receive the January 2021 data.
Statistics Canada's Guide to Employment Insurance Statistics (EIS) is available here.
The CDP team is also looking into acquiring data on uptake of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Summary information on CERB applications at the national and provincial level can be found at this link: Canada Emergency Response Benefit statistics
Due to the relatively poor quality of the coverage for some CSDs (mostly in rural areas and low population areas), EIS data at the CSD level should be used with caution.
Estimates by census subdivision (CSD) provide an approximate picture of the local area and should be used with caution, in particular in smaller areas. The methodology assigns beneficiaries to a CSD based on their postal code. A postal code that crosses CSDs is associated to the CSD for which the postal code has the most population. In some cases, no postal code is associated to a CSD because no postal code is dominant and the count of beneficiaries shown is zero. This does not mean there are no beneficiaries in that area, but rather illustrates the limits of this methodology.
Also note that the number of EI recipients is currently higher than was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic. As the number of beneficiairies decrease, it is possible that the data for some CSDs, which are currently publishable, will not be publishable in the future.