15 per cent of Edmonton residents received CERB payments, analysis shows

An analysis by The Canadian Press shows that the city had, on average, 148,479 CERB recipients during each four-week pay period for the pandemic aid.

Alberta capital averaged 148,479 CERB recipients between late March, early October

Part of a cheque for the $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a taxable, monthly federal payment that was made to eligible workers who had lost their income due to COVID-19 pandemic. At almost $82 billion it was Ottawa's costliest coronavirus-fighting measure. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

About 15 per cent of Edmonton residents received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) last year, an analysis of federal data has found.

An analysis by The Canadian Press shows that the city had, on average, 148,479 CERB recipients during each four-week pay period for the pandemic aid.

Over its lifespan between late March and October of last year, the CERB paid out nearly $82 billion to 8.9 million people in Canada whose incomes crashed either because they saw their hours slashed or lost their jobs.

In the first four-week period, there were 242,220 people in Edmonton receiving the CERB, and the figure fell from there.

There were 175,120 in the second period, 150,590 in the third, 136,260 in the fourth, 119,640 in the fifth, 114,190 in the sixth, and 101,330 in the final month before a trio of new benefits and a revamped employment insurance system replaced CERB.

The figures come from federal data The Canadian Press obtained under the Access to Information Act that provides the most detailed picture yet of where the aid went.

The data from Employment and Social Development Canada is broken down by the first three digits of postal codes, known as forward sortation areas (FSAs), to determine the number of active recipients at any time anywhere in the country.

The Canadian Press used population counts from the 2016 census to calculate what percentage of the population over age 15 in each forward sortation area received the CERB in any four-week pay period.

Some forward sortation areas in the data were created after the 2016 census and weren't included in the analysis.

Edmonton is made up of the following FSAs: T5A, T5B, T5C, T5E, T5G, T5H, T5J, T5K, T5L, T5M, T5N, T5P, T5R, T5S, T5T, T5V, T5W, T5X, T5Y, T5Z, T6A, T6B, T6C, T6E, T6G, T6H, T6J, T6K, T6L, T6M, T6N, T6P, T6R, T6S, T6T, T6V, T6W, T6X, T6Y, T0A, T0B, T0C, T0E, T0G, T0N, T0P, T0T, T0V.


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