EI Lessons From South Of The Border

Commentary, Welfare, John Williamson

“The Long-Term Effects of Generous Income Support Program: Unemployment Insurance in New Brunswick and Maine, 1940-1991,” found only 5.7% of male workers and 3.3% of female workers in Maine collected benefits in 1990. Cross the northern border into Canada and 29.5% of male workers and 29.7% of female workers were on the dole. The authors estimated more liberal benefits in N.B. accounted for two thirds of this difference. They also found that since 1982, the joblessness rate in N.B. has consistently been above 12% whereas the out-of-work rate in Maine has routinely been below 8%.