Horry County sees drop in initial unemployment claims

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – Initial unemployment claims are dropping all over South Carolina, and especially in Horry County.

Horry County is part of this statewide trend. Only 81 people in the county filed an initial claim for the week of June 6.

This past March, Horry County saw 367 initial claims filed. A year ago, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce saw more than 5,200 initial claims filed. SCDEW said the last time Horry County filed more than 300 initial claims was back in April.

“So the demand in South Carolina is through the roof and at the same time, we’ve seen our unemployment rate fall consistently since the turn of the year,” director of business intelligence for SCDEW, Brian Nottingham said. “Last month, we got new numbers coming out this week but last months numbers, we were at 5 percent and that was a full percent at a point lower than the national average.”

The total number of people unemployed in April – in South Carolina – was a little over 118,000 according to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. In Horry County, it was 8,100.

“South Carolina is traditionally lower in unemployment rate than the nation as a whole so we sort of got this squeeze going on with workers, and I think that reflected in the initial claims as well,” Nottingham said. “There is more and more opportunity and less and less layoffs. After that, our busy summer season with hiring peaks anyhow.”

Officials with SCDEW said more than 86,000 jobs available statewide. Claims for the extra $300 a week from the federal government ends June 26.

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