The department said there were 4,000 additional benefits claims filed in the week, bringing the weekly total to 367,000.
By close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 80.75 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,575.36. The Nasdaq composite index added 14.23 points, or 0.45 percent, to 3,149.46. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 10.41 points, or 0.72 percent, to 1,461.40.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,213 stocks advanced and 826 declined on a volume of 3.6 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note fell 18/32 to yield 1.679 percent.
The euro rose to $1.3018 from Wednesday's $1.2905. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 78.48 yen from 78.49 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.89 percent, 77.72, to 8,824.59.
In London, the FTSE 100 index was flat, rising 0.03 percent, adding 1.97 points to 5,82778.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]