Job vacancies are on the rise in Alberta and the average hourly wage offered by employers is also climbing, according to Statistics Canada.

The number of unfilled jobs in the province rose by 3,600 in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016, marking a 9.3 per cent increase.

"This was the first year-over-year increase for Alberta in the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate since the first quarter of 2015, when data were first collected," Statistics Canada said in a release.

"Increases in vacancies for full-time positions accounted for 59 per cent of the year-over-year rise in total job vacancies."

Compared to two years ago, however, vacant jobs are still few and far between.

Back in the first quarter of 2015, there were nearly twice as many unfilled jobs in Alberta as there were to start the current year.

The average hourly wage offered by employers looking to hire also grew to $21.40 at the start of 2017, a 7.3 per cent increase from the year before.

Nationally, the average offered hourly wage grew by 2.8 per cent to $20.40.

"Changes in the average offered hourly wage can reflect a variety of factors, including wage growth and changes in the composition of job vacancies by occupation, by sector and between part- and full-time positions," Statistics Canada noted.

All this data comes from the federal agency's quarterly Job Vacancy and Wage Survey.

Statistics Canada said it lines up with the data it collects as part of another measure, the Labour Force Survey, which is used to track employment and unemployment levels.

All told, the agency said it points to "improved labour market conditions in Alberta."

"Following notable declines from the fall of 2015 to the summer of 2016, employment has increased while the unemployment rate has trended downward since November 2016," Statistics Canada said.