The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week came in below expectations, according to official data released on Thursday.
The number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ended Dec. 22 decreased by 1,000 to 216,000, the U.S. Department of Labor said.
Analysts had expected claims to clock in at 217,000 last week.
Figures for the prior week were revised up to 217,000 from the prior reading of 214,000.
The four-week moving average fell by 4,750 to 218,000 last week. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Continuing jobless claims, which measures the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid, came in at 1,701,000 compared to 1,705,000 in the preceding week.
That compared to a consensus forecast of 1,665,000.
The previous week’s reading was revised down from an initial reading of 1,708,000.