The previous week's upwardly revised figure was 356,000, the department said in a release.
At 377,500, 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 advance number of actual unadjusted first-time joblessness claims under state programs was 414,122 in the week, a decrease of 112,817 from the previous week, Labor Department officials said.
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