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Job vacancies declined, and payrolls remained little changed in November, based on new data from Statistics Canada.

The national statistical agency reported that employment was stable in the month, with 7,100 workers added to payrolls. The increase came largely on the services side, where employment rose by 13,500 workers.

The number of job openings dropped in November, with 20,700 fewer vacancies reported, down 2.4% from the previous month, leaving overall vacancies at 850,300, down from record levels of over 1 million in May.

StatsCan noted that the unemployed-to-vacancy ratio remained at 1.2 in November, well below the pre-pandemic ratio of 2.2 unemployed workers per open job.

Average hours worked were flat in November compared with the previous month but remained down by 0.3% from the same month last year, pointing to higher absentee rates this year.

Average weekly earnings were up 4.2%, on a year-over-year basis in November, StatsCan noted.

“Growth in average weekly earnings can reflect a range of factors, including changes in wages, composition of employment and hours worked,” it said, noting that earnings were up 5.3% in the goods-producing sector, compared with just 3.6% in the services sector.