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Initial unemployment claims top 900,000 since March 2020

Human Resources
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Initial unemployment claims filed in South Carolina since March 15, 2020 have topped 900,000, with 1,887 filed for the week ending June 5.

Spartanburg County saw the most claims filed in the state with 130. Lexington County saw 76, Berkeley County 75, Greenville County 47 and Richland County 31, according to S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce data.

Since last March, 900,665 initial claims have filed in the state, with DEW paying out $6.3 billion in a combination of state and federal benefits. That includes $51.6 million for the week of May 30-June 5.

June is the last month that South Carolina will provide federal unemployment program benefits following a May 6 directive from Gov. Henry McMaster. On Tuesday, McMaster announced a partnership between DEW and S.C. technical colleges to provide training opportunities for unemployed individuals.

Unemployment claimants will have an option of exploring short-term retraining programs in lieu of a weekly job search requirement required to retain state unemployment benefits through the partnership, free to students and funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds.   

 “As the federal unemployment programs come to an end on June 26, 2021, we want to ensure that claimants have access to all options involving training and employment opportunities,” Dan Ellzey, DEW executive director, said in a news release announcing the initiative. “If someone is ready to make a career change, exploring the state technical college programs should be your first step.”

Nationally, 376,000 claims were filed for the week ending June 5, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week.


Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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