More than 17,000 people filed an unemployment claim in South Carolina last week

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina initial unemployment insurance claims saw another 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 20th totaled 17,098, a decrease of 2,268 compared to the previous week’s count of 19,366.

This data means 17,098 people who live and work in the state filed an initial claim last week.

“Our latest initial claims number shows another decline, the lowest we have been able to report since early March, but overall is still stubbornly high. We are seeing more businesses re-opening cautiously and safely, navigating the challenge of customer and employee safety while making sound business decisions. We anticipate this trend of more businesses recalling employees will continue, even if it’s at a slower rate than hoped for,” said Dan Ellzey, Executive Director, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. 

“We also want to bring attention to the upcoming deadline of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides an additional $600 per week to UI claimants. It is set to expire on July 25, 2020 – one month from today. This means unless Congress passes additional legislation that extends this program or funds something similar, those currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits, will only receive their weekly benefit amount after July 25, which is a maximum of $326 per week,” continued Ellzey.

Since March 15, 2020, the agency has paid more than $2.5 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.

“We continue to encourage job seekers to seek employment when an opportunity is presented. Our SC Works centers are readily available to help you search, find, apply and prepare you for your next step, even if additional education or training is required. There’s a wealth of information available to you right now on jobs.scworks.org,” said Ellzey.

Lowcountry breakdown:

Charleston County: 1,242 claims

Berkeley County: 624 claims

Dorchester County: 514 claims

Colleton County: 178 claims

Georgetown County: 229 claims

Williamsburg County: 135 claims

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