There was a further decrease in employment insurance beneficiaries in August, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

The 9,600 fewer beneficiaries represents a 1.8% decrease and takes the total nationwide to 524,000. The downward trend began in October 2016.

Manitoba saw the largest decline (-8%) followed by Alberta (-4%), PEI (-2.6%), New Brunswick (-2%), Newfoundland & Labrador (-1.9%), Ontario (-1.5%), Nova Scotia (-1.2%) and Quebec (-1.1%). There was an increase of 1.9% in Saskatchewan and no change in British Columbia.

Year-over-year there was an 8% decline in EI claimants.

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