Over 1 In 5 Canadians Are On CERB, The Country’s Emergency Income Benefit

Millions of Canadians are still on the government’s emergency income benefit. Government of Canada (GoC) data shows a small drop in users of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by July 5th. Though there was a drop, about one in five Canadians are still using the benefit. Here’s how these numbers break down per province.

CERB Benefit Users Drop Slightly In July

The number of Canadians using CERB has dropped slightly, as more people return to work. There were 8,245,910 unique applicants on July 5, 2020, down 1.9% from a month before. We’re still up from 15.87% from the beginning of April, but the numbers are coming down. While encouraging, this is just a small decline compared to the size of the program.

Ontario Has The Biggest Number of CERB Recipients By Volume

The provinces with the most CERB users also have the largest populations. Ontario led with 3.30 million people on CERB on July 5, about 40% of all CERB beneficiaries. Quebec follows with 1.88 million people, about 23% of the total. BC comes in third with 1.10 million CERB beneficiaries, 13% of total users of the benefit. This is predictable, but there’s one surprise when looking at CERB users on a per capita basis.

Canadian CERB Recipients By Province

The number of unique applicants for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by province on July 5, 2020.

Source: Government of Canada, Better Dwelling.

Alberta Just Beats Ontario For Highest Per Capita Use of CERB

In contrast to the size of population, the biggest provincial user of CERB is Alberta – very narrowly passing Ontario. Alberta’s 1.0 million users of the benefit are about 22.41% of the most recent quarterly population estimate. That’s just a touch higher than Ontario’s 3.3 million users that make up 22.40% of the population. BC comes in a third with 1.88 million people, which is about 21.92% of the population. The rankings mostly stay the same, with the exception of Alberta’s high per capita use.

Canadian CERB Users As A Percent of Population

The percent of the population using CERB by province, and the national average.

Source: Government of Canada, Better Dwelling.

Despite the small decline in CERB recipients, millions are still dependent on it. Considering economies are partially re-open, millions still don’t have a job to return to. Provinces with the highest concentration of users are likely to have the hardest time getting back to speed. They also face an overhang of what happens if benefits run out before jobs return.

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  • Rohan B 4 years ago

    CERB cliff is coming.

    • David Thomas 4 years ago

      Two month extension puts it… right at the mortgage deferral cliff.

      So, yeah. It’s being extended.

      • JC 4 years ago

        If CERB is not extended, then the mortgage deferrals will be.

        • Truth 4 years ago

          I agree. Mortgage deferrals will likely be extended, the wage subsidy program will likely be tweaked to get more people back to work and the remaining CERB recipients will likely be transitioned to the EI system.

  • James Ahoy 4 years ago

    Any idea how many crazy canucks applied for a mortgage on CERB? 😂

    • Mortgage Guy 4 years ago

      You joke, but I’ve heard of people asking if they qualify for a mortgage if they’re “temporarily” on CERB.

      Which, by Ireland might not seem like an issue. The problem is if you’re one of the lucky ones that finds out their job isn’t needed after the reopening.

  • zalzon 4 years ago

    If only govt had not been hand in glove promoting banksters’ agenda of indenturing people into over-priced real estate mortgage debt, the people might have had funds to save for a rainy day.

    Crony capitalism, which is the picking of winners and losers, destroys the productive economy.

  • Raj 4 years ago

    some what misleading – ontario was late in economic reopening and should see dip in number in for next months.

  • Jimmy 4 years ago

    Is that 20 percent just federal government employment?

    • zalzon 4 years ago

      When you factor in hoards of people in unproductive jobs that produce nothing of value (e.g. banking, real estate flipping, accounting, bureaucracy.. etc), my estimate is only 35% of the Canadian population is actually working a real job that’s producing wealth for the nation.

      Were it not for the massive natural resource base of the country, we’d be done.

    • SUMSKILLS 4 years ago

      Muni, prov., feds = 1/5 or 20% of employment. Add CERB, roughly 40% of income is from government.

  • M.Bury 4 years ago

    ok, so according to StatsCan the Canadian workforce was recently about 19 million people. This article claims 8.2 million on CERB and CEWS data shows about another 2.5 million on that program, which is essentially EI because the govt is picking up the tab for it.

    So effectively, less than half of the workforce is still working…

    • Jimmy 4 years ago

      And another 20 percent on government payroll. This lines up with government balance sheet and projected budget defecit.

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