US jobless claims fell by 12,000 last week, according to government data released Thursday.

Seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week ending December 22 dropped to 350,000 from the previous week's revised 362,000, the Labor Department said.

The four-week moving average was 356,750, a decrease of 11,250 from the prior week's revised average of 368,000.

This week's results were better than expected; analysts had expected claims to go up.