Minimum Unemployment Rate Set for EI Program

Lisa C. Settlement & Community News, Updates

The Canadian government is preparing to transition as many Canadians as possible from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) back to the Employment Insurance (EI) system by September.

Effective August 9, 2020, a minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% will be applied temporarily for all EI economic regions across Canada.

Why is this important? Because the unemployment rate is one of the 2 factors that affect how long you could receive EI regular benefits. The 2 factors are:

  • the unemployment rate in your region at the time of EI claim;
  • the number of insurable hours you have worked in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is short.

When individuals begin transitioning off of the CERB back to EI regular benefits at the end of this month, there will be two scenarios:

  • those living in regions with an unemployment rate lower than 13.1% will have their EI benefits calculated based on the 13.1% rate;
  • those living in regions with a higher unemployment rate will have their benefits calculated using the actual rate for that region.

Want to know how the Employment Insurance is calculated? Please visit: