S.C. unemployment claims jump by 1,600% over previous week; Horry County has state’s highest number of claims

S.C. unemployment claims jump by 1,600% over previous week; Horry County has state’s highest number

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – Unemployment claims in South Carolina last week rose by 1,600% over the previous week, according to figures released Thursday by S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

In the week ending March 21, the advance figures for South Carolina intrastate initial claims was 31,054, an increase of approximately 1,600% from the previous week’s count of 1,996, according to a press release.

Horry County saw the highest number of unemployment claims, with more than 5,200, the SCDEW reported.

Charleston County was second with over 4,100, while Greenville County was third with over 3,200.

The map shows the number of unemployment claims filed in each county in S.C. for the week of March 21.
The map shows the number of unemployment claims filed in each county in S.C. for the week of March 21. (Source: SCDEW)

In the week ending March 21, the advance figures for South Carolina interstate initial claims was 772, an increase of approximately 800% from the previous week’s count of 97, the release stated. This means that there were 772 individuals who live in South Carolina, but filed for unemployment insurance against another state.

Prior to last week, the state was averaging around 2,000 claims filed a week.

More than 10,000 claims have not been filed in a single week since 2013.

While last week’s claims were a dramatic increase, it is not a record for the state.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, 41,000 claims were filed in January 2002, around 10,000 more than the number reported for the week ending March 21. This was around the time of the dot com bubble and the country was in a recession.

It is likely this week will also have a high number of unemployment claims filed. Governor McMaster closed dine-in services during the middle of last week and many who tried to apply reported challenges with the website.

The unemployment insurance claims process is 100 percent online and can be done by clicking here.

South Carolina isn’t the only state reporting an increase in unemployment claims.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced 3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, a record for the country. Every state reported an increase with Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Texas and Massachusetts ranking at the top.

During 2009, the country experienced multiple weeks of high claims filed but the highest was only around 665,000.

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