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OTTAWA, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The number of job vacancies in Canada fell to 401,000 in the third quarter, with two major western provinces offering the most hope for people seeking work, Statistics Canada data indicated on Thursday.
The federal agency showed a job vacancy rate of 2.6 percent, down from 2.8 percent in the second quarter. By comparison, Statistics Canada's labor force survey had shown an average of 1.34 million unemployed people in the third quarter.
Statscan had reported 437,400 job vacancies in the second quarter.
Among the provinces, British Columbia in the far west showed the highest vacancy rate of 3.4 percent. Oil-producer Alberta in the west recorded the second highest rate at 3.1 percent.
The survey was the third of its type by Statscan. The vacancy rate refers to the share of jobs that are not filled out of all payroll positions available. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)