BC residents relied a little less on Ottawa’s Employment Insurance program in December of 2016.

Vince Ferrao with Stats Canada says the number of beneficiaries dropped by almost 2%. “We have 54,950 people receiving benefits. In November, we saw 55,850 people receiving benefits, that’s a decline of 1.6%.”

Year-over-year the number of beneficiaries in the province spiked by 1%.

That’s a drop in the bucket compared to Alberta where residents collecting benefits jumped by 55% since December of 2015.

The number of claims in the province also saw a spike according to Ferrao. “26,840 people made claims and that represents an increase of 1,650 or 6.6%.”