FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - US initial jobless claims were 434,000 in the week ending on Jan. 2, up by just 1,000 over the previous week but well below forecasts in the 17,000 range.

The US Department of Labor revised the initial claims for the week of Dec. 26 up to 433,000 from the advanced figure of 432,000.

Despite the nominal increase, the weekly report gives further signs of an improving US job market even if job growth remains elusive for the time being.

Supporting this view, continuing jobless claims for Dec. 26 were 4,802,000, a full 179,000 less than the week before and beating analysts predictions of an increase of around 20,000 claims.

The four-week average also decreased by -10,250 jobs for a total of 450,250, a low not seen since Sept. 13, 2008.