S.C. unemployment claims surpass 500,000; weekly numbers fall again

S.C. unemployment claims surpass 500,000; weekly numbers fall again
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce says the number of initial unemployment claims received through the week ending Saturday was twice that of the previous week. (Source: AP)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina has now seen more than half-a-million unemployment claims since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce’s latest numbers show 515,595 initial claims for unemployment were filed in the past nine weeks.

For the week ending May 16, SCDEW said 29,446 people filed for initial unemployment claims, which is down just over 3,000 claims the week prior. The department said it’s the fifth decrease recorded since March.

Horry County saw 1,999 more initial claims in the latest report, down from nearly 2,700 last week. Florence County saw 769 claims in the new data, which is down nearly 100 from last week.

SCDEW said it’s paid more than $1.35 billion between unemployment benefits and programs tied to the federal CARES Act. The department’s call center also remains open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday.

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