Frustrated man calculating bills and tax expenses

Statistics Canada reported further evidence of a possible easing in labour market conditions, with the number of workers collecting employment insurance (EI) benefits rising sharply in July.

For the third straight month, the number of EI beneficiaries increased, the national statistical agency reported, with the benefits rolls jumping by 6.0% to 438,000 in July.

With the increase of 25,000 in July, the number of workers receiving EI benefits was up by 42,000 over the previous three months, StatsCan said.

The surge in EI usage has come alongside an increase in the jobless rate. StatsCan reported that the unemployment rate edged up by 0.1 percentage points in July to 5.5%.

Earlier this week, the agency also reported data indicating that job vacancies are declining, and wage growth pressures appear to be easing.