People living in the Charlottetown EI region will lose millions of dollars in employment insurance benefits under a new two-zone system coming to P.E.I. in October, according to an analysis by the federal government.

Impact of new EI zones
Current Zone Charlottetown P.E.I.
Recipients 21,630 6,560 15,070
# with changed claim N/A 5,450 9,150
Average claim change N/A -$2,560 +$1,620

The analysis is included in the latest edition of the Canada Gazette.

P.E.I. is currently the only province in the country with just one EI zone. Different zones provide different levels of EI benefits to the people living there, based on the unemployment rate in the zone.

The new Charlottetown region, with its lower unemployment rate, will have a less favourable benefits formula, resulting in $14 million less in benefits coming into the city region annually.

The P.E.I. region, which is the rest of the Island, will see $15 million more in benefits.

The analysis does not include the total amount of employment insurance benefits coming to the province.

In a statement sent to CBC News, Gail Shea, the province's representative in the federal cabinet, said having two distinct regions for P.E.I. will allow the EI program to better reflect the economic conditions in the capital.

"Workers in rural parts of the province who rely more on seasonal employment [will] have access to appropriate benefits," said Shea.

"It reflects reality that job opportunities for Islanders differ greatly between Charlottetown and the rural areas of Prince Edward Island."

Splitting the Island into two zones is a concrete solution to issues brought to her by rural Islanders, she said.