For the third straight month, the number of people claiming income benefits in the Oshawa area was on the rise.
According to new numbers from Statistics Canada, there were 8,020 people in the Oshawa census metropolitan area, which also includes Whitby and Clarington, claiming EI payments in February, up from 7,950 the month before.
This marks the third month of increases, dating back to November when 6,070 people were claiming benefits.
However, numbers remain lower than they were a year prior, with 8,800 people claiming benefits in February 2016.
Nationwide, the number of EI beneficiaries fell by 2.1 per cent, or 11,700 people, to 554,200, with decreases seen in Saskatchewan (4.1 per cent), Alberta (3.6 per cent), Quebec (3.4 per cent), British Columbia (2.1 per cent), Ontario (1.8 per cent) and Manitoba (1.8 per cent).
Compared to February 2016, there were 0.7 per cent more people claiming benefits.