124,000 South Carolinians getting jobless help


January 20, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- State officials say more than 124,000 South Carolinians are now getting unemployment checks.

Employment Security Commission executive director Ted Halley told a legislative committee Tuesday that the commission is now paying $19 million per week in benefits.

South Carolina has had to borrow money from the federal government to make the unemployment payments. Halley told lawmakers the state must come up with a way to repay the money during the next two years or it will be charged interest.

Halley says the agency has not increased weekly benefits to workers this year or last year. He says 22,000 people are receiving extended benefits now.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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