COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – Unemployment claims in South Carolina are down for the first time since mid-March, the SC Department of Employment and Workforce says in its latest numbers released Thursday.
For the week ending on April 18, 73,116 people filed an initial unemployment claim in SC. This is a decrease of about 14,750 initial claims from the week before and the first recorded decrease in claims since mid-March.
SCDEW says 341,730 initial claims have been received in the last five weeks.
The agency also said it has paid more than $351 million in a combination of state unemployment benefits and “the CARES Act $600 contribution” in the last five weekends.
SCDEW added that calls into the agency’s call center have increase by 856% in the last five weeks. Hours for the call center have been extended until 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday and the staff will “continue to work extended hours on week nights and weekends making outbound calls.”
SCDEW also released an updated map showing the number of intrastate claims filed in each county for the week ending April 18. Intrastate claims are claims filed by those who both live and work in SC.
Horry County saw 7,867 intrastate claims filed during this week, which is down from the previous week‘s number of 7,930 claims. For the second week in a row, Horry County was second to Greenville County for the number of intrastate claims.
Florence County had 1,866 intrastate claims filed in this week. This is down from the previous week’s tally of 2,186 intrastate claims filed.
In Darlington County, 755 intrastate claims were filed, which is down from 1,084 claims filed in the previous week.
Marion County saw 373 intrastate claims filed during the week. This is down from the 453 claims filed the previous week.
In Marlboro County, 368 intrastate claims were filed in the week, which is also down from the previous week’s total of 382 claims filed.
Dillon County had 309 intrastate claims filed in the week, down from the previous week’s tally of 371 claims filed.
Chesterfield County had 293 intrastate claims filed during the week, down from the 544 claims filed the previous week.
In Georgetown County, 845 intrastate claims were filed, which is up from the 709 claims filed in the previous week.
Earlier this week, News13 reported that Liberty Steel Group would temporarily halt production at its Georgetown Plant. It’s not clear if this had any impact on the latest unemployment numbers.
The Associated Press reports that about 26 million people have sought unemployment aid in the United States in the five weeks since the virus hit.
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