WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers stepped up their hiring in November, though they advertised fewer jobs for a second straight month. The mixed data suggest the job market has strengthened but employers remain cautious.
The Labor Department says companies and governments posted 3.16 million jobs in November, down from 3.22 million in the previous month and a three-year high of 3.4 million in September.
Still, employers filled almost 4.15 million jobs in November. That nearly matched September's hiring level, which was the highest since May 2010.
There is heavy competition for each available job. About 13.3 million people were unemployed in November, which means there was an average of 4.2 people out of work for each opening. That's slightly better than October's ratio of 4.3
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