This is a decrease of 26,000 jobless claims compared to the previous week.
The unemployment rate, which had been trending down over the past seven months, remained unchanged at 6.7 percent in December, the report showed.
The report listed 900,000 new claims for the week ending January 16, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week.
The U.S. Department of Labor's report Thursday underscored that President Biden has inherited an economy that faltered this winter as virus cases spiked, cold weather restricted dining and federal rescue aid expired, the AP said.
The government also reported 423,734 new filings made under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed people not normally eligible for benefits.
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Ohioans filed 42,975 initial jobless claims for the week ending January 16, a 15 percent increase over the previous week, the Department of Job and Family Services said.
Meanwhile, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs - state and federal combined - for the week ending January 2 also decreased by 2.4 million, but remained elevated at almost 16 million, as the country struggles to grapple with the fallout of surging COVID-19 infections. Among other things, it provided a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit on top of regular state jobless aid. Retail sales have fallen for three straight months.
Michael Feroli of JP Morgan predicted Congress could pare the president's plan down to the US$900 billion range, matching a separate measure approved last month.
Those payments have likely helped drive an increase in spending on debit and credit cards issued by Bank of America, economists at the bank wrote last week.
Biden's nominee to head the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, tweeted on Tuesday, "Let's automatically adjust the length and amount of relief depending on health and economic conditions so future legislative delay doesn't undermine the recovery and families' access to benefits they need".