New EI claims put on hold while Statistics Canada figures out jobs numbers

An error in the jobs report issued last week by Statistics Canada has resulted in a freeze on new employment insurance claims. A government official says the processing of new EI claims is being put on hold until the agency fixes the mistake.

OTTAWA — An error in the jobs report issued last week by Statistics Canada has resulted in a freeze on new employment insurance claims.

A government official says the processing of new EI claims is being put on hold until the agency fixes the mistake.

On Tuesday, Statistics Canada said it found an error in its July Labour Force Survey, and that it would issue a revised report on Friday.

The Aug. 8 report said Canada created just 200 jobs in July and that 35,400 people had stopped looking for work. Prior to the release, economists had predicted that 20,000 jobs had been found during the month.

The monthly jobs report is used to determine regional unemployment rates, which directly impact the number of weeks an unemployed person needs to have worked in order to qualify for EI benefits.

An official in Employment Minister Jason Kenney’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter, said the freeze is not expected to add to the time it takes to process claims.

There is a minimum two week delay between the time someone applies for EI and when they receive benefits.

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