Data released today by Statistics Canada showed that Canadian job growth for 2014 was more sluggish than previously thought.
On January 9, Statistics Canada had said employment gains for 2014 stood at 186,000, but revisions published January 28 lower that number to 121,000. The discrepancy was enough to push the unemployment rate for 2014 up to 6.7% from 6.6%.
“In light of the magnitude of the changes, the Bank of Canada’s decision to cut rates may now look slightly less surprising,” wrote CIBC economist Nick Exarhos in a note.
"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."
The labour participation rate (the number of people working or actively seeking work) fell throughout 2014 to 65.7%, the lowest rate since 2000. Canada’s aging population (an increase in the number of people aged 55 or older) was part of the reason the participation rate declined, according to Statistics Canada.
The participation rate for women aged 25-55 also fell throughout 2014, by 0.8%.