The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest level in four years, down from 7.9 percent in October. But the drop occurred because more people gave up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching for jobs.
The department said that it could not quantify what impact, if any, Sandy had on October job openings. Sandy made landfall on Oct. 29, closing down businesses and cutting off power, particularly in the Northeast.
Job openings in the Northeast actually rose slightly in October, the department said.
Tuesday's report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, looked at total hiring, layoffs and quits. The monthly employment report released Friday measures net hiring and unemployment.