OTTAWA - Starting next week, jobless Canadians will be able to pocket more of their employment insurance benefits if they find temporary jobs during their search for full-time work.

A new pilot program announced in the Conservative government's spring budget gets underway Sunday.

The two-year, $74-million pilot project will allow EI claimants to stay active in the labour market in their search for permanent employment.

It will cut the current clawback rate in half for people who are collecting EI but who have found temporary work.

The easing of the clawback would mean that an unemployed person who is collecting $330 a week on EI while working a job that paid $450 a week would see their weekly earnings rise to $555 from $462.

The EI changes are billed as an attempt to drive overall economic growth by matching unemployed Canadians with employers trying to fill vacant jobs.