Some 508,000 Canadians received federal jobless benefits in July, virtually unchanged from a month earlier, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.
On an annual basis, the number of people receiving Employment Insurance benefits was down by 34,900 -- 6.4 percent -- the agency said.
The unemployment rate in July was 7.3 percent.
Across the country, there were some wide differences.
"Provincially, claims rose by 8.9 percent in Saskatchewan, 8.3 percent in Ontario and 3.1 percent in Alberta, while they fell by 6.6 percent in New Brunswick, 4.4 percent in Quebec and 3 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador," StatsCan said.
The change in the number of regular beneficiaries reflects various situations, including new claimants, people going back to work, and people exhausting their regular benefits, the report said.