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Home Canadian Press Statistics Canada revises December unemployment rate to 6.7 per cent

Statistics Canada revises December unemployment rate to 6.7 per cent

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada has revised its labour force numbers for 2014 to reduce the number of jobs gained last year by about one-third and increase the unemployment rate for December.

The federal agency made the revision as part of an update following a change in the census data used to calculate the figure.

It said Wednesday the unemployment rate for December 2014 was 6.7 per cent compared with its initial estimate of 6.6 per cent.

Statistics Canada also reduced the estimated number of jobs gained last year to 121,300, dwon from 185,700 estimated earlier this month.

The revisions follow a surprise move by the Bank of Canada to cut its key interest rate last week because of the drop in oil prices and what that meant for the economy.

CIBC noted the Bank of Canada’s decision to cut rates last week may now look slightly less surprising.

“We thought that a 15,000 per month pace in employment growth wasn’t great, though respectable, but the now reported 10,000 per month pace clearly shows that the labour market failed to make significant headway last year,” CIBC economist Nick Exarhos wrote in a note to clients.

“The Bank of Canada is more concerned about the path of oil prices, and their impact on investment and hiring going forward, but today’s revisions suggest that the economy might not have been on quite as firm ground as earlier believed.”

As part of the revisions, Statistics Canada said the number of full-time jobs gained last year totalled 158,300 compared with its earlier reading of a 190,300.

The number of part-time jobs lost in 2014 was revised to 37,000 compared with the initial estimate of a loss of 4,500 for the year.

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