Troubling times ahead for Canada's economy in 2015, says Stats Can

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On January 9, Minister of Employment Jason Kenney tweeted that it is "great to see the creation of 54,000 full time jobs last month." What Kenney failed to mention was that 58,000 jobs were also lost in December, resulting in a net loss when it comes to jobs.

A report from Statistics Canada says the Canadian economy rounded out 2014 by losing 4,000 jobs in December, according to new figures released by Statistics Canada on Friday. The lacklustre performance of the national job market did not alter the unemployment rate which remained at 6.6 per cent. The decline in employment was due to fewer people working in accommodation, food and other services during the month, according to the report.

Overall, there were 186,000 new jobs created in 2014. But that doesn't nearly compensate for the total employment loss for the year.

"Nearly 1.3 million Canadians are looking for work," said NDP Finance Critic Nathan Cullen in a statement. "Canadians, and especially middle class families, can see how the ideological approach of the Harper Conservatives is taking Canada in the wrong direction."

The youth unemployment rate continued to rise to 13.3 per cent as 3,300 more young people lost their positions. Employment among women aged 25 to 54 also declined by 24,000 jobs.

Little changed in most of the provinces, with the exception of Prince Edward Island which lost 1,000 positions in December.

By contrast, the United States reported a huge upward swing in employment as the U.S. labour market continued to show strong growth by adding 252,000 net new jobs, according to a statement by the NDP.

Bank of Canada President Stephen Poloz added that the ongoing drop in oil prices will put a cramp in Canada's economy for 2015.

The Canadian dollar plunged to a new low on Friday, dropping to 85 cents following the release of the Canadian and U.S. job reports.

"Our government faces important economic choices in 2015 and it's time Stephen Harper finally started listening to Canadian families,' said Cullen. 

Francella Fiallos is a fourth year journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa. She sits on the Board of Directors at OPIRG-Carleton, edits a campus newspaper, and hosts a radio show on CKCU 93.1 FM in the capital region. 

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