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.