JOB OPENINGS FLAT: U.S. employers advertised about the same number of jobs in November as in October, a sign that hiring probably won't pick up much in the coming months. Job openings ticked up 11,000 last month to 3.67 million.
COMPETITION IMPROVES: With more than 12 million people unemployed in November, that means there were 3.3 unemployed people, on average, competing for each open job. That's the lowest ratio in four years. Still, in a healthy economy, it is roughly 2 to 1.
HIRING LITTLE CHANGED: Companies hired 4.3 million people, the report showed, just 3,000 more than in October. Layoffs ticked down. The figures suggest that employers didn't step up layoffs or cut hiring in the midst of the debate over the fiscal cliff.