OTTAWA (CP) -- Statistics Canada says more people filed for Employment Insurance in February than any month since comparable data began to be compiled in 1997.
There were 325,700 new claims in February, an increase of 51,000, or 18.6 percent, from January.
The agency says the number of people actually receiving EI jumped 7.8 percent in February, with the biggest increases coming in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
There were 610,200 people getting benefits in February, up 21.8 percent from October, when unemployment began to climb.
The agency says the number of people on EI has risen in every part of the country.
The unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in February and hit 8.0 percent in March.