The weekly jobless claims will be coming out shortly. Last week, a sell side analysts put out a note saying that jobless claims might be less than expected because of seasonal adjustments. Many seasonal workers are laid off after Christmas every year, so the government seasonally adjusts the number downwards. The analyst surmises that since there was less seasonal hiring this year there will be less seasonal firings and this week's number should come in better than expected.
This logic seems sound to me although I am not familiar with the data. Therefore I would take any improvement in the reported numbers with an even larger grain of salt than other government figures.