New Jobless Claims Drop

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Despite economic headwinds, the job market is holding up as the year winds to a close.

The Labor Department says new claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week. The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless aid fell by 7,000 to 333,000. That is the lowest level since the middle of November.

Analysts had been expecting no change.

The less volatile four-week moving average declined by 2,000 to nearly 339,000.

Just last Friday, the government said the nation's unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent.

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