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Employment insurance claims go up in July

More people in the Oshawa area were claiming employment benefits in July – however, the number spike seen across the country can be attributed to new rules that came into effect at that time.

In July, 6,870 people in the Oshawa census metropolitan area – which also includes Whitby and Clarington – were claiming employment insurance program benefits, up from 6,770 the month before. This number is down substantially from the year before, with July 2015 seeing 10,140 people claiming benefits.

Across the country, the number of beneficiaries rose 4.4 per cent between June and July. However, according to Statistics Canada, this unusually high increase can be attributed to legislative changes to the EI program that came into effect at that time.

Announced by the Trudeau government when the federal budget was released, the new changes include reducing a two-week waiting period before filing for EI down to one week and extending the amount of time people can claim benefits.