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EI changes offering jobless Canadians more incentives begin Aug. 5

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announces changes to Employment Insurance in Ottawa, May 24, 2012.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Starting next week, jobless Canadians will be able to pocket more of their employment insurance benefits if they find temporary jobs during their search for full-time work.

A new pilot program announced in the Conservative government's spring budget gets underway Sunday.

The two-year, $74-million pilot project will allow EI claimants to stay active in the labour market in their search for permanent employment.

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It will cut the current clawback rate in half for people who are collecting EI but who have found temporary work.

The easing of the clawback would mean that an unemployed person who is collecting $330 a week on EI while working a job that paid $450 a week would see their weekly earnings rise to $555 from $462.

The EI changes are billed as an attempt to drive overall economic growth by matching unemployed Canadians with employers trying to fill vacant jobs.

"Our government believes it should always pay to work," Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said in a statement.

"Canadians want to get back to work, and statistics show that those who stay active in, and remain connected to, the labour market find permanent employment faster. Our government is committed to supporting workers and ensuring that EI enables a strong and competitive workforce."

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