NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- The number of Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits dropped last week according to a Labor Department report. Initial jobless claims dropped by 23,000 to 381,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week ended Dec. 3 from a revised 404,000 in the previous week. Economists had expected to see claims fall to 395,000 from the originally reported 402,000 the prior week. The four-week moving average fell by 3,000 to 393,250 from the previous week's revised average of 396,250. -- Written by Andrea Tse in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.