WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Initial unemployment claims rose by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 399,000 for the week ending Jan. 7, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
The previous week's revised figure was 375,000, the department said in a release.
At 381,750, the four-week moving average held to less than 400,000 for the ninth 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 642,381 in the week, an increase of 102,314 from the previous week, Labor Department officials said.