Drop of 111,800 for private sector
The jobless rate stayed at seven per cent. Analysts forecast that 10,000 positions would be added after the gain of 41,700 in July.
Full-time jobs dropped by 2,300 from July while part-time jobs decreased by 8,700. The labour participation rate — of particular interest to the Bank of Canada — slipped to 66 per cent, the lowest since November 2001.
The 12-month gain was a measly 81,300 jobs, or 0.5 per cent, while the six-month moving average for employment growth dropped to 10,200 from 10,900 in July.
The gloomy figures provided more evidence there was still plenty of slack in the Canadian economy. The Bank of Canada has said it will not raise interest rates from near-record lows until it sees signs of a firm economy.
The fall of 111,800 private sector employees amounted to one per cent, equalling the record month-on-month drop seen in April 1982. Overall, 97,800 employees lost their jobs while the number of self-employed rose by 86,900.
July's jobs data was marred by a high-profile error caused by a botched update to a computer processing program, which meant Statscan initially said just 200 jobs had been created.