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Job vacancies reached a record quarterly high of nearly one million in the first three months of 2022, continuing a trend started in the first quarter of 2016.

Statistics Canada data shows the number of job vacancies increased 2.7 per cent from the previous peak in the fourth quarter as the pool of unemployed workers shrunk to half the level in the first quarter of 2021.

Vacancies in the health care and social assistance sector reached a record high of 136,800, up five per cent from the peak of three months earlier and up 90.9 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2020.

Employers in the construction industry also found it challenging to fill jobs in the first quarter, as 81,500 positions were vacant, up 7.1 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.

Job vacancies continued to reach record highs in the manufacturing and retail trade sectors as well, up 5.3 per cent and 12.8 per cent, respectively, compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.

Average hourly wages of all employees rose three per cent from a year earlier, while the Consumer Price Index increased 5.8 per cent during that period.

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