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South Carolina hits new pandemic-era low in 1st-time jobless claims

South Carolina unemployment
South Carolina unemployment(WRDW)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 9:35 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - New unemployment claims in South Carolina have reached their lowest point since the start of the pandemic.

During the week that ended Saturday, the number of South Carolinians who filed their initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 8,909, a decrease of 3,285 from the week before, which marked the previous low point,

This brings the initial claims total to 706,528 received since mid-March, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce reported Thursday.

Despite the weekly decrease, the unemployment rate is off the charts when compared to a year ago.

In the past 20 weeks, the total number of initial claims has risen to 706,528 in South Carolina, the agency reported.

Since March 15, the agency has paid more than $3.68 billion in a combination of state and federal unemployment benefits.

The agency reported, meanwhile, that it’s on the lookout for fraudulent claims by people who are also receiving a paycheck from their employer through the Paycheck Protection Program. Georgia recently said it has seen an increase in fraud, as well. 

First-time unemployment claims data from last week by county.
First-time unemployment claims data from last week by county.(WRDW)

The national picture

New jobless claims were down nationally, as well. After rising for two weeks, they declined last week by 249,000 from the previous week. Although the number was down from the week before, the total of 1.2 million filing for benefits was historically huge: Before March, the number of Americans seeking unemployment checks had never exceeded 700,000 in a week.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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