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A new CCPA report finds Canada’s Employment Insurance system is failing the recession “stress test” and many unemployed workers are falling through the cracks.

The study points out that the number of unemployed Canadians not in receipt of EI benefits jumped from 650,760 in October 2008 to 777,4000 in October 2009, even as the system because easier to access. It estimates that as many as 500,000 Canadians who initiated an EI claim in 2009 will exhaust their benefits because new jobs remain very difficult to find.

To help fix these ongoing problems, CUPE and the Canadian Labour Congress are calling on the federal government to:

  • Provide regular benefits on the basis of 360 hours of work, no matter where workers live and work in Canada.
  • Raise benefits immediately to 60% of earnings calculated on a worker’s best 12 weeks.
  • Increase the period for which benefits can be collected to a maximum of 50 weeks.