Private employers cut 298,000 job positions last month, according to the ADP Employer Services report, jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.
That beat the 360,000 job losses seen in July, a month in which ADP initially said the economy shed 371,000 jobs.
Outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc said planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell 21 percent in August, boosting hopes for improved consumer spending in the coming months.
A separate report from the Labor Department showed U.S. nonfarm productivity rose at a 6.6 annual rate in the second quarter, the biggest increase since the third quarter of 2003.
Other data showed new orders at U.S. factories rose 1.3 percent in July after gaining 0.9 percent the prior month, lifted primarily by transportation and civilian aircraft orders.