Canadian employment grew by 36,000 in April, the result of an increase in self-employment, according to data released Friday morning by Stats Canada.

Despite this increase, overall employment has fallen by 321,000 since the peak in October 2008. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.0% in April, remaining at its highest level in seven years, with the growth in employment coinciding with an increase in the labor force.

The employment gains in April occurred in information, culture and recreation; business, building and other support services; other services; and agriculture. Employment was unchanged in manufacturing and construction.

All the employment growth observed in April occurred in Quebec (+22,000) and British Columbia (+17,000), while employment declined in Nova Scotia (-4,100) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-2,800). There was little change in the other provinces.

The increase in employment in April was all in full-time work. Overall employment gains for the month were spread between adult men aged 25 and over, and older women aged 55 and over. Since October, employment has declined among men aged 25 to 54 and youths 15 to 24, whereas it has increased among older workers.

In April, the average hourly wage was 4.3% higher compared with the same month a year earlier.

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