South Carolina unemployment insurance claims surged to 64,856 last week

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina initial unemployment insurance claims continued to ride for instate workers this past week, according to the SC Department of Employment and Workforce.

The advance numbers for the week ending March 28 totaled 64,856, as opposed to the previous week’s count of 31,054. This means 64,856 people who live and work in the state filed an initial claim last week.

SC Department of Employment and Workforce

Lowcountry breakdown:

Charleston County: 7,845 claims

Berkeley County: 3,057 claims

Dorchester County: 2,194 claims

Colleton County: 402 claims

Georgetown County: 844 claims

Williamsburg County: 259 claims

Meanwhile, more than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week, a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus.

“So over a short period of time we’re looking at three weeks period of time to go from an average 2,000 claims to 6,5000 claims is huge so we’re trying to grow our staff and our workforce to adjust to those needs and satisfy the needs of the state.”

Jamie Suber, Chief Administrative Officer for the Department of Employment and Workforce.

All unemployment filing is done online. You can visit DEW for more information.

Kristin Bastian, Licensed Credit Counselor with Origin SC says it is important to focus on the big five: housing, medication, transportation, food, and utilities while planning your finances during a crisis.

“We have to remember that those things are going to come due at one time and you may have a large bill to pay and may not have the means to pay those several months that haven’t been paid thus far. So if you can make payments on those please do because you don’t want to have to deal with the repercussions of dealing with the lump sum at the end,” Bastian said referring to bills like rent that may be differed during this time.

Until unemployment or stimulus checks arrive Bastian says there are programs set up to provide emergency funds.

“We are seeing folks in our community who have the means and want to help and are working with those agencies that they know are reputable and are able to deliver those funds in the proper way,” said Bastian.

You can visit Origin SC or Trident United Way for more information on how to apply for emergency funds.

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