The number of U.S. job openings was essentially flat in November, suggesting the labor market is still recovering at a slow pace, government data showed on Thursday.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, stood at 3.676 million during the month, trivially higher than the revised reading of 3.665 million for October, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

The hiring rate was unchanged at 3.2 percent.

The number of workers quitting their jobs also edged barely higher in November. Economists usually see an increase in quits as a sign of confidence in the labor market.

About 2.14 million workers purposely left their jobs during the month, up from 2.09 million during the prior month.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by James Dalgleish)