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Dozens lin up to register for the The National Job Fair & Training Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 2012.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Statistics Canada says the number of people receiving regular employment insurance benefits decreased in September by 1.4 per cent compared with the previous month.

It says the number of beneficiaries was 503,800, about 7,100 fewer than in August and down 8.8 per cent compared with September 2012.

Before the small decline, the number of EI beneficiaries had been relatively unchanged for three months.

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There were notable declines in Ontario and British Columbia, smaller drops in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and increases in Quebec, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces.

The number of beneficiaries dropped by more than eight per cent in Ontario and B.C. and were down by just over one per cent in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Numbers were up 5.6 in Quebec, 4.0 per cent in Manitoba and the four Atlantic provinces saw increases ranging from 1.8 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

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