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State sees just more than 2,400 initial unemployment claims

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Just more than 2,400 initial unemployment claims were filed in South Carolina for the week ending July 17.

The 2,403 initial claims filed from July 11-July 17 represented a small drop of 87 from the previous week. Since March 15, 2020, the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, workers have filed 912,746 initial claims for unemployment benefits, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

Benefits were paid to 15,458 unemployed workers for the week ending July 17, with an average benefit of about $243.

South Carolina’s unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in June from 4.6% in May, according to DEW. In June, 2,289,714 South Carolinians were working.

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster directed federal program benefits to phase out in the state by the end of June, saying they disincentivized the state’s workforce.

Since March 15, 2020, DEW has paid out more than $6.5 billion in state and federal unemployment funds.

Unemployment rose in every S.C. county from May to June, going from 3.8% to 4.6% in Richland County and from 2.7% to 3.5% in Lexington County, according to DEW estimates.

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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