New jobless claims in South Carolina reach low point for pandemic

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 11:37 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WCSC) - The latest report from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce shows the lowest number of initial claims filed in a week since the pandemic began.

But the total number of South Carolinians who have filed their first unemployment claim over the past 18 weeks now stands at 685,425, agency spokesperson Heather Biance said.

In the week ending Saturday, the agency received 14,346 initial claims, a drop of 4,983 claims from the previous week.

Intrastate initial claims last week by county.
Intrastate initial claims last week by county.(WRDW)

The agency has paid more than $3.37 billion in a combination of state and federal benefits over those 18 weeks.

“The latest initial claims data is evidence of a strong South Carolina economy. This week marks a more significant decrease than we have noted in the last six weeks of initial claims data. In fact, it is the lowest number since the prepandemic week of March 14, 2020,” agency Executive Director Dan Ellzey said in a statement.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional $600 per week to eligible claimants, is set to expire this Saturday. This expiration date was set in the CARES Act. Claimants are paid for the previous week of unemployment, so eligible claimants will receive their last payment in the week of July 26 through Aug. 1.

Congress is considering an extension of the program, although many Republicans are seeking a lower payment amount to ensure that recipients don’t earn more through jobless benefits than they would from a job.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT and WCSC