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Statistics Canada reports 673,700 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits in November, down 5,700, or 0.8 per cent,from October.

The agency says the number of beneficiaries edged down in five provinces.

There were 248,100 initial and renewal claims, a decline of 8,400, or 3.3 per cent, from October.

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The largest decreases occurred in Quebec and British Columbia.

The number of regular beneficiaries was down 81,600, or 12.5 per cent, from November 2009.

The number of regular beneficiaries has been relatively stable since March.

The number of regular EI beneficiaries fell slightly for the second straight month in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador.

There was a slight increase in Nova Scotia, while changes were minor in the remaining provinces.

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