Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expected claims to total 200,000 for the week ended Dec. 11.
Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, fell to 1.845 million, a pandemic low.
On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, confirmed many Americans are deciding to remain home for reasons including fears about the omicron variant along with lack of childcare, and eldercare options.
The latest JOLTS report on job openings sits near a record 11.03 million while the number of people quitting their jobs fell slightly in October to 4.2 million, from 4.4 million in September, the third-highest number of monthly resignations on record,
Despite the strong labor market, policymakers see unemployment dropping to 3.5% next year.