More than 16,000 people filed an unemployment claim in South Carolina last week

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina initial unemployment insurance claims saw a slight decrease in weekly unemployment claims across the state, according to data from the SC Department of Employment and Workforce.

It comes after a spike in unemployment claims last week.

The advance numbers for the week ending June 27th totaled 16,959, a decrease of 139 compared to the previous week’s count of 17,098.

This data means 16,959 people who live and work in the state filed an initial claim last week.

“While the number of people seeking first time unemployment assistance fell, the state is not seeing the movement week-over-week for which we hoped,” said Dan Ellzey, Executive Director, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. 

“There are still a lot of questions and unknowns as to what the future will hold, how long this economic stall will go on and what the true magnitude of the impact will truly be. However, what we know is when the virus initially caused the economic shut down in March, job cuts were highly concentrated in the restaurant, travel, hospitality and retail industries. While those industries are still feeling the residual impact, the effect is continuing to spread to other sectors like professional services, manufacturing and health care as sustained weeks of hardship drag on,” continued Ellzey. 

 Since March 15, 2020, the agency has paid more than $2.72 billion in a combination of South Carolina UI benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (for the self-employed and others), the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($600 per week) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (extension of benefits for 13 weeks) program.

“Yesterday our agency announced the launch of the Extended Benefits (EB) program, which offers up to an additional 10 weeks of UI benefits after a claimant exhausts their Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). We will continue to provide support through this and all of the UI programs, as well as our numerous reemployment services. We will maintain our focus on the work that’s in front of us and help as many people as possible through this crisis,” said Ellzey.

Lowcountry breakdown:

Charleston County: 1,141 claims

Berkeley County: 754 claims

Dorchester County: 456 claims

Colleton County: 175 claims

Georgetown County: 247 claims

Williamsburg County: 175 claims

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