Employment in the manufacturing industry, however, increased by 10,000 compared to June. Over the past 12 months, the number of workers in this industry has increased by 1.2 percent (up 22,000).
Other industries that saw increases in employment last month included construction (up 31,000), transportation and warehousing (up 28,000), as well as retail and wholesale trade (up 28,000). At the same time, there were decreases in health care and social assistance; educational services; business, building and other support services; natural resources; and agriculture.
Statistics Canada said the country's unemployment rate fell last month to 7.2 percent - its lowest level since December 2008 - as fewer people entered the workforce. There were 25,500 more full-time workers and 18,400 fewer part-time workers in July.
Employment increased by 252,000 (up 1.5 percent) compared with July 2010, with the growth in full-time and among private sector employees.
"Not exactly what the doctor ordered, but not bad," BMO Capital Markets deputy chief economist Doug Porter wrote in a note to investors. "The Canadian jobs report sets a reasonably good table. The headline jobs tally was a touch light, but the details of the report are unambiguously healthier - the strong gain in full-time jobs, the pop in private sector employment, and the fact that the overall number was skewed lower by yet another July drop in education employment."
According to Statistics Canada, there were more people working in Alberta (up 12,000) and in Newfoundland and Labrador (up 3,800) in July, while there was a decline in Ontario (down 22,000). There was little or no change in the other provinces.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Labour Department reported job numbers that were a welcome surprise for many analysts who had predicted a softer showing. The unemployment rate in the United States fell to 9.1 percent last month from 9.2 percent in June. American employers added 117,000 jobs last month. That is an improvement from the past two months.