The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits declined 1 per cent, or 5,400, to 541,200 in October.
Statistics Canada reports the number of beneficiaries fell in nine provinces, with the most notable declines occurring in Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Ontario.
The number receiving benefits rose slightly in New Brunswick.
The number of initial and renewal claims rose nationally by 9,600 (4.2 per cent) to 240,700 in October.
Claims increased in Ontario (7.7 per cent), Quebec (4.8), Alberta (4.7) and British Columbia (4.4).
The number of claims fell in Nova Scotia (down 1.3 per cent), Prince Edward Island (down 1.2) and Newfoundland and Labrador (down 1.0), while Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick were virtually unchanged.
Between October 2010 and October 2011, the number of people receiving regular benefits fell by 105,100, or 20 per cent, nationally.