Clearing up a little confusion

The government’s favourite mantra these days is the low unemployment rate of 8.9%. Here’s a couple of meaty stats to chew on:

1. It’s still the third highest unemployment rate in Canada.

2. As the chart shows below (hope it’s not too small), there are actually more people on EI than in 1999 (based on the most recent data. I only have the income data up to 2003 – 2004 I don’t think is out yet).

3. Employment insurance income is up by over $130 million (2003 vs. 1999) or a 26% increase while regular employment income is only up 17%.

So don’t confuse a lowering unemployment rate will lower unemployment. We still have over 1/4 of our entire workforce that uses the EI system each year for income – almost $700 million worth.