South Carolina’s initial unemployment claims for the week ending Dec. 5 nearly doubled from the previous week, climbing above 5,000 for the first time since the week ending Oct. 3.
The 5,109 claims represented a 2,446 increase from the 2,683 filed for the week ending Nov. 28, according to data from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.
Claims jumped above 500 in three counties: 585 in Spartanburg, 532 in Horry and 503 in Greenville. Richland County saw 442 claims, Charleston County 267 and Lexington County 235.
The combination of state and federal unemployment benefits paid to S.C. residents since March 15 edged closer to $4.7 billion, reaching $4.69 billion.
The rising claims come as some benefits are set to expire in December. S.C. residents will no longer receive extended unemployment benefits after the next claim week (ending Dec. 12) because of the state’s lower-than-6.5% three-month unemployment rate average. In addition, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs are set to expire by Dec. 31. Those benefits will not be paid after the week ending Dec. 26.
Nationally, unemployment claims rose by 137,000 to 853,000 for the week ending Dec. 5, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.p