A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated, but noted that adjusting the data for seasonal fluctuations remained a challenge.
While claims have been extremely volatile around the holiday season, they are still largely consistent with other labor market indicators that have painted an upbeat picture of the jobs market and the overall economy.
Last week's data has no bearing on the government's closely watched employment report for December.
The Labor Department is expected to report on Friday that non-farm payrolls increased 196,000 last month after gaining 203,000 in November, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
The unemployment rate is forecast to be steady at a five-year low of 7.0 percent.
The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 50,000 to 2.87 million in the week ended Dec. 28.
A total of 4.19 million people were receiving benefits under all programs in the week ended Dec. 21. With benefits for more than a million long-term unemployed Americans having expired on Dec. 28, that figure should decline sharply in the weeks ahead.