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Employment Financial security Transparency

EI reform debate happens to coincide with sudden suppression of EI benefits payment data

If any web-savvy users stumble upon this post, it would be useful to know what changes were made to the Service Canada EI page since the budget was tabled (current page indicates recent changes on May 9, 2012).  It may be nothing…

Will fill in with a few tables from the data that is left later.

EI changes still under wraps but details coming ‘soon’
Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC News May 18, 2012

CANSIM ‘data liberation’ was being heralded only a short while ago.  Unfortunately, the party appears to have been short-lived.  Just as the debate over Empoyment Insurance (EI) reform has started to heat up, apparently Statistics Canada has suppressed the only three tables providing data series on EI benefits payments.  The general series prefix for EI benefits tables is 276.  The suppressed tables are

CANSIM Table 276-0005
Employment Insurance Program (E.I.), benefit payments by province and type of benefit monthly (Dollars), Jan 1943 to Mar 2011

CANSIM Table 276-0015
Employment Insurance Program (E.I.), weeks paid by province and type of benefit monthly (Number), Jan 1943 to Mar 2011

CANSIM Table 276-0016
Employment Insurance Program (E.I.), average weekly payments by province and type of benefit monthly (Dollars), Jan 1942 to Mar 2011

Will update when a more cogent explanation is provided.  As it stands, apparently updates to the referenced EI benefit payment table were discontinued in March 2011 after (unexplained) inconsistencies were discovered in the EI benefit payment data breakdown by benefit type.  The aggregated data (sum total for all benefit types) was still available, but only ‘on demand’.  As of May 2012, this month, the aggregated data is no longer available at all.

Yes, as of this month, just as the government started the EI reform  ‘debate’  intended to curtail benefits payments and weeks of entitlement, the only data to analyse the effects of such changes to the EI program will no longer be available.

As to why the explanation doesn’t appear to hold up to scrutiny:  No explanation is provided as to how the data problems related to EI benefit payments breakdown by benefit type led to the decision to suppress the aggregated data series as well.  And no explanation is provided as to how the unexplained data problem with the breakdown by benefit type affected the tables related to EI benefit payments, but not the number of recipients using the same breakdown

CANSIM Table 276-0001
Employment Insurance Program (E.I.), income beneficiaries by province, type of income benefit, sex and age monthly (Persons), May 1975 to Feb 2012

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