Initial jobless claims decreased 35,000 to 466,000 in the week ended Nov. 21, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.
Continuing claims dropped to 5.423 million for the week ended Nov. 14.
Economists expected 500,000 initial claims and 5.58 million continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.
Initial claims for the week ending Nov. 14 were revised to 501,000 from 505,000. Continuing claims were revised to 5.613 million from 5.611 million.