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16,062 South Carolinians filed initial claims for unemployment last week

SC Department of Employment and Work Force reports in the last 16 weeks, the total number of initial claims has risen to 651,750 in South Carolina
Credit: wltx

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The number of people filing for unemployment in South Carolina dipped again last week but overall the number hasn't declined dramatically over the month or so.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Work Force reports for the claim week ending July 4, 2020, the number of South Carolinians who filed their initial claim for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits is 16,062, a decrease of 897 initial claims from the week prior. This brings the number of people who've filed for unemployment to 651,750 since the pandemic began in mid-March. 

The state says a big financial shift nationwide is coming as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program is set to expire on Saturday, July 25. According to the CARES Act, the FPUC expiration date depends on how each state defines its benefit week. In South Carolina, our claim week runs Sunday-Saturday, setting Saturday, July 25 as the last day the weekly $600 FPUC benefit can be disbursed in the state. With that being said, many South Carolina businesses are eagerly looking for workers. They have created safe, healthy and, in many instances, virtual workplaces,” says Employment and Workforce Executive Director, Dan Ellzey.  

Credit: SC DEW

Greenville County had the most claims (1,529), followed by Richland (1,467) and Charleston (1,179).

“If the FPUC program expires as expected, individuals need to be prepared for this change and aware of the many reemployment services available through the SC Works centers across the state. While some of the SC Works centers have offered reemployment services online and over the phone throughout the pandemic, many of these centers have reopened their facilities to the public. We urge you to visit 

https://scworks.org/about-us/statewide-centers to see which facilities are open and to understand their visitation protocols. Your safety and the safety of SC Works employees are top priority, so if you don’t feel comfortable visiting in person, know that SC Works staff will be happy to help you with reemployment services over the phone. Many SC Works centers are now offering virtual job fairs and others are planning drive-through job fair opportunities that allow individuals to apply and sometimes interview for a job while safely social distancing in their vehicle,” continued Ellzey.   

“If you haven’t explored the SC Works Online System (SCWOS), check out our tutorial on how to search for available jobs near you by going to the SCDEW YouTube page and viewing the SCWOS Job Portal Tutorial,” concluded Ellzey. 

From March 15, 2020 to July 7, 2020, the agency has paid more than $2.9 Billion in a combination of South Carolina UI benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (for the self-employed and others), the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($600 per week) program, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (extension of benefits for 13 weeks) program and Extended Benefits (Additional 10 weeks of benefits after PEUC).

Call center hours (1-866-831-1724) Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. - noon. 

RELATED: 1.3 million Americans file for unemployment as layoffs remain historically high