The number of British Columbians receiving government benefits increased nine per cent in January to 56,100, according to a study.

That the number of people on Employment Insurance (EI) continues to rise shows that labour market conditions in Canada have deteriorated significantly, according to Statistics Canada. Over the 12-month period leading to January 2009, the number of people in Vancouver receiving EI increased by 55 per cent to 26,020 people.

By the numbers
• In Canada, the number of people on EI rose 4.4 per cent in January to 560,400.

• Between January 2008 and January 2009, the number of men receiving EI benefits increased 27.1 per cent, double that of women at 13.8 per cent.

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