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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Non-farm payrolls in Canada increased by 13,500 in April, Statistics Canada said on Thursday, in a report that contrasted with the giant 58,200 job gain seen in the more closely watched April employment data released six weeks ago.
The latest numbers come from Statscan's non-farm payrolls report - the survey of employment, payrolls and hours (SEPH) - which is based on a business census.
The report has far less influence on markets than the higher profile labor force survey (LFS) - which is based on interviews with households.
Investors closely follow the latter because it gives an early read on hiring activity. But the LFS can be very volatile from month to month, making the later survey a valuable secondary source of data.
The more recent business survey showed the heaviest hiring in accommodation and food services, professional, scientific and technical services and retail trade. Manufacturers laid off workers in the month, it said, in another contrast to the primary LFS report .
"The 6,000 downtick in factory jobs contrasts with that sector's breakout performance in the LFS, suggesting some caution in interpreting the latest factory surge in the household survey," said Emanuella Enenajor of CIBC World Markets.
The overall report was "still indicative of positive hiring sentiment moving into the second quarter," Enenajor added.
The data suggests the economy continued to grow in April. Statscan will release April gross domestic product data on Friday. The average forecast in a Reuters poll is for a 0.2 percent increase in GDP in the month.
The total number of non-farm payrolls employees rose 1.4 percent from April 2011.
Average weekly earnings rose 1 percent in the month from March and by 3.1 percent on the year.
Employees worked an average of 33 hours per week in April, up from 32.9 in March, and up from 32.9 a year earlier for the first year-on-year increase in six months.
Reporting By Louise Egan; Editing by Peter Galloway and Jeffrey Hodgson