COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD/WSPA) — The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is hiring new staff to handle the spike in unemployment calls and claims.
Jamie Suber, the agency’s chief administration officer, said his department has seen nearly 96,000 unemployment claims in the past two weeks. Now, due to the number of claims it is receiving and the relatively small staff it has, the agency — and the call centers it works with — needs more workers.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the department did not need many staff members because unemployment claims were at record-lows.
“Due to [coronavirus], we’ve gone from record low claim counts to record highs,” Suber told 7News Tuesday. “Within a three-week time period, it’s very hard to staff up to fit the needs of those that are in need of our services.”
New hires, he said, will primarily work in customer-service roles: coaching callers through various forms and processes.
“I can’t think of a better agency for someone with a heart of service,” Suber said. “That’s truly what we do on a daily basis: We provide services to those that are in need.”
In addition to the hiring initiative, SCDEW has beefed up the capacity of its website so more residents can use the website at the same time. It also currently has 12 how-to videos to help South Carolinians navigate various aspects of the unemployment filing process.
You can find those videos here.
You can visit the department’s COVID-19 hub here.