"The weakness was driven by ongoing restrictions in May," said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. "I would point out that almost all the declines were in part-time jobs, which is one mildly encouraging feature here."
Some 207,100 jobs were lost in April, more than the average analyst prediction of a loss of 175,000. The unemployment rate climbed to 8.1%, missing analyst expectations of 7.8%. Employment remains 2.6% below pre-pandemic levels.
Full-time employment was down by 129,400 while part-time employment fell by 77,800 positions.
The February data was revised to show 271,700 jobs were gained rather than a decline of 100,800. The report, derived from ADP's payrolls data, measures the change in total non-farm payroll employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Canada has lagged other rich countries in inoculations even though it ordered enough doses to vaccinate the population five times over late last year.
Shipments of 4.7 million doses are expected this week and next - 2.4 million from Pfizer Inc, 846,000 from Moderna Inc and a 1.5 million-dose loan of AstraZeneca's vaccine from the United States, according to federal forecasts and recent announcements.