The unemployment insurance fraud rate in Canada hit a record high of 19.1 per cent in October, according to the latest figures released by Statistics Canada.
That was the highest rate since March 2008, and well above the 6.4 per cent rate that was reported in January.
The government said unemployment insurance claims were down by 2.6 per cent from last month.
“As a result of this decrease, unemployment claims are now well below their historic peaks in 2008, when the federal rate reached an historic high of 23 per cent,” said the government.
But many critics say the government has overstated the fraud rate.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits was down by more than a million people last month, but there were 2.1 million claims for people who were ineligible.
The total number of unemployed was 6.3 million in October.
Statistics Canada said unemployment claims declined by 0.7 per cent to $11.8 billion in October from $11 billion in September.
“The fall in claims was largely due to the reduction in claims for part-time workers, who accounted for nearly one-third of total unemployment claims in October,” said Statistics Canada in a release.
There were 1.7 million claims from workers under 26 years of age, which accounted for more than half of the decline in claims.
More:More:For a breakdown of Canada’s unemployment statistics, visit the CBC website.