Statistics Canada retracts July jobs report because of 'error'

Statistics Canada has retracted its July employment report, four days after reporting that the Canadian economy created only 200 jobs during the month.

Original release claimed 200 jobs were created in the month, new figure to be released Friday

Agency will reissue July jobs report because of error 2:24

Statistics Canada retracted its July employment report on Tuesday, four days after reporting that the Canadian economy created only 200 jobs during the month.

"An error has been detected in the processing of the Aug. 8 Labour Force Survey release," the data agency said. "This error impacts only the July 2014 estimates."

The data agency declined to offer details on what sort of error had been detected, but they said it has been identified and corrected.  The agency says the mistake does not affect other statistical programs, and says new, corrected numbers will be released this coming Friday.

The loonie had been down on the day, but erased those losses after the news came out — a possible sign that people think the updated figure will show the country in fact produced a lot more than 200 jobs. Economists had been expecting a figure of around 20,000.

At least one Bay Street watcher was confused by the news. "Taking the very rare step of issuing a formal correction … suggests that this will not be a minor revision," Scotiabank said in a note to clients. "I don't know why they'd wait until Friday … if they know they have an error now."

For its part, the data agency insists it will get to the bottom of it, and ensure that its data is completely accurate.

"Statistics Canada takes this matter very seriously and is immediately launching a review of the data verification processes in place," the data agency said.

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