OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian economy unexpectedly lost a net 11,000 jobs in August from July as well as a whopping 111,800 positions from the private sector, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.
The jobless rate stayed at 7.0 percent. 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 labor participation rate - of particular interest to the Bank of Canada - slipped to 66.0 percent, the lowest since November 2001.
The 12-month gain was a measly 81,300 jobs, or 0.5 percent, 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 1.0 percent, equaling 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.
Reporting by David Ljunggren and Randall Palmer; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe