In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending December 1 fell by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, compared to expectations for a decline of 15,000 to 380,000.
Jobless claims for the preceding week were revised up to 395,000 from a previously reported 393,000,
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended November 24 fell to 3.205 million. Analysts had expected continuing claims to drop to 3.275 million from last week’s revised figure of 3.305 million.
The four-week moving average was 408,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 405,750.
The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar was little changed against the euro, with EUR/USD adding 0.03% to trade at 1.3072.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures held on to losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a flat open, S&P 500 futures indicated a loss of 0.1%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures signaled a 0.2% decline.