Dec. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. jobless claims dropped to a surprisingly low level in weekly figures released Thursday, giving a boost to sentiment that the labor market remains strong despite a slowing global economy.
New seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims came in at 203,000 for the week ending Nov. 30, the Department of Labor reported. That represented a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 213,000.
The four-week moving average of new claims, meanwhile, dropped 2,000 from 219,750 to 217,750.
Those levels were well below economists' expectations and signaled continuing strength in the labor market even though the number of new jobs being added to the U.S. economy is slowing. Job creation has been averaging 167,000 per month this year compared with average monthly gains of 223,000 in 2018.
Analysts said the jobless claims levels, which were approaching a 50-year low, were also impressive given softening global economic growth, the U.S.-China trade dispute and slower business investment. The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent in October.