First-time claims dropped by 15,000 to 330,000, falling from the previous week's revised figure of 345,000.
The original estimate of the previous week's first-time claims was 339,000. The revision by 6,000 erases last week's reported drop of 2,000 claims, turning that into a gain of 4,000.
The four-week rolling average of first-time jobless claims fell by 9,750 to 349,000.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Dec. 28 were in Michigan with a gain of 16,056, Pennsylvania, up by 10,601, and New Jersey with a gain of 7,345.
The largest decreases were in California, where claims fell by 14,635, followed by a drop of 6,723 in Texas and 3,738 fewer claims in Florida.