Federal government temporarily freezes processing of EI claims

Published on August 14, 2014

The federal government has imposed a temporary freeze on processing new Employment Insurance claims.

According to media reports, the freeze is due to an error in the July jobs report issued last Friday by Statistics Canada.

Although economists predicted a net gain 20,000 jobs, the agency showed an increase of only 200 jobs. StatsCan also said 35,400 people stopped looking for work.

Government officials say the freeze on new EI claims will stay in effect until StatsCan fixes the mistake. The agency says it will issue revised numbers on Friday.

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.

Government officials say the temporary freeze is not expected to add the time it takes to process applications for EI benefits.