Initial jobless claims fell 12,000 to 350,000 in the week ended December 22, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Claims for the week ended December 15 were revised up to 362,000 from the initially reported 361,000.

Continuing jobless claims were 3.206 million in the week ended December 15, a 32,000 decrease from the upwardly revised 3.238 million the week before, first reported as 3.225 million.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected 360,000 initial and 3.200 million continuing claims.

The four-week average of initial claims fell 11,250 in the week ended December 22 to 356,750, the lowest average since the week ended March 15, 2008, when the 4-week average for claims was 353,750.

The Labor Department said "a lot of states estimated" claims figures due to the Christmas holiday.

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