As the data shows, the winter months have heavy negative seasonal adjustments to claims--in other words, claims are adjusted downward. Often claims spike for weather related reasons in the early months of the year and because of factory closures in the late months of the year. This year the weather was more mild in most of the country, so the seasonality could have skewed comparability against prior years. For those who are skeptical of the numbers, the coming weeks will begin to have less seasonal adjustment and therefore provide better comparability.
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