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Statistics Canada data shows the number of job vacancies increased 2.7% 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.

Employers in the construction industry found it challenging to fill jobs in the first quarter, as 81,500 positions were vacant, up 7.1% 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% and 12.8%, respectively, compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.

Average hourly wages of all employees rose 3% from a year earlier, while the Consumer Price Index increased 5.8% during that period.

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