Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell to a five-year-low last week. The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 335,000, a decrease of 37,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 372,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 359.250, a decrease of 6,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 366,000. Last week’s jobless claims total was the lowest since January 2008, which offered hope for the labor market. But the drop in claims for unemployment may reflect the difficulty the government has in adjusting the data after the holidays when seasonal workers are let go, a spokesperson said. The advance number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending Jan. 5 was 3,214,000, an increase of 87,000 from the preceding week. The four-week moving average was 3,195,750, a decrease of 6,000 from the prior week. States reported 2,059,438 persons claiming emergency unemployment compensation in the week ending Dec. 29, an increase of 67,984 from the prior week, There were 3,026,855 claimants in the comparable week in 2011. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Dec. 29 was 5,821,966, an increase of 465,547 from the previous week. There were 7,826,846 claimants in all programs in the comparable week in 2011. The largest increases in initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending Jan. 5 were in California, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. The largest decreases were in Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Oregon.