More than 19K 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.

The advance numbers for the week ending July 11th totaled 19,329, an increase of 3,267 compared to the previous week’s count of 16,062.

This data means 19,329 people who live and work in the state filed an initial claim last week.

“When looking at this claim week, the jump in numbers may be surprising, but it does track with an annual trend our agency sees each year around the 4th of July holiday. The week following the 4th of July has historically recorded a higher number of initial claims as it represents layoffs and closings for the holiday week. When an individual files for unemployment insurance, they are filing for layoff or lack of work for the prior week. What we see is a trend, mainly due to businesses, often in the manufacturing sector, closing operations for a week or two around this summer holiday each year. Here’s a snapshot of this trend over a three-year period,” states executive director, Dan Ellzey.

 “While this year’s initial claims total is significantly higher in volume, the percentage increase (20.3%) is significantly lower than 2018 (51%) and 2019 (79%). While an upward trend is not something we ever want to see, we do believe this trend is isolated and isn’t solely pinpointed to impacts from COVID-19,” Ellzey said.

Since March 15, 2020, the agency has paid more than $3.15 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.

Lowcountry breakdown:

Charleston County: 1,051 claims

Berkeley County: 755 claims

Dorchester County: 531 claims

Colleton County: 201 claims

Georgetown County: 220 claims

Williamsburg County: 196 claims

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