515K South Carolinians have filed for unemployment in the past 9 weeks, state says

515K South Carolinians have filed for unemployment in the past 9 weeks, state says
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said Thursday morning the total number of people who filed initial unemployment claims since mid-March has surpassed the half-million mark. (Source: AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce confirmed Thursday the number of South Carolinians to file initial unemployment claims has topped the half-million mark.

In the week ending Saturday, a total of 29,446 people filed their first claim for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 3,067 compared with the week prior.

Those filings brought the total number who’ve filed those initial claims to 515,595 in the state.

Last week’s total marked the fifth consecutive weekly decrease in new claims since mid-March, SCDEW spokesperson Heather Biance says.

Of the new claims, Greenville County reported the most with 2,845. Charleston County came in second at 2,505. Richland County had the third-highest number of new claims last week with 2,279. Spartanburg County reported 2,166, putting it at fourth place. Horry County had the fifth-highest number of new claims last week, with 1,999.

Greenville County had the most new unemployment claims last week. Charleston County had the second-highest total.
Greenville County had the most new unemployment claims last week. Charleston County had the second-highest total. (Source: SCDEW)

Biance says the agency has paid more than $1.35 billion in state unemployment insurance benefits, CARES Act programs, FPUC and PUA payments.

The agency’s call center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday. Biance said the hours were adjusted to allow more staff members to be available during peak times.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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