OTTAWA -- There were 816,600 Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in June, 5.1 percent -- or 39,500 -- more than in May.
Statistics Canada says the largest percentage increases came in Alberta, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The agency says the number of beneficiaries increased 18.8 percent in the second quarter, down from the 25.2 percent growth rate of the first quarter.
The number of people receiving EI benefits has risen sharply since the labor market began to deteriorate last fall -- 63.2 percent, in fact, or 316,300.
Initial and renewal claims fell by 7.9 percent in June, or 26,100, with declines in all provinces and territories except Ontario, where there was a slight increase.