Initial unemployment claims fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 for the week ending Jan. 27, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
The previous week's upwardly revised figure was 379,000, the department said in a release.
At 377,750, the four-week moving average held to less than 400,000 for the 11th consecutive week.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December, down from November's 8.6 percent on a gain of 200,000 jobs.
The figure is set to be revised, as needed, on Friday with the release of the monthly employment situation report.