More than 17,000 people filed initial unemployment claims in South Carolina for the week ending June 20, bringing the total number of claims filed in the last 14 weeks to 618,729.
The 17,098 claims filed represented a decrease of 2,268 claims from the previous week, according to data from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.
The agency said it has paid more than $2.5 billion in a combination of state and federal unemployment benefits in the 14-week period.
“Our latest initial claims number shows another decline, the lowest we have been able to report since early March, but overall is still stubbornly high,” Dan Ellzey, DEW executive director, said in a news release. “We are seeing more businesses re-opening cautiously and safely, navigating the challenge of customer and employee safety while making sound business decisions. We anticipate this trend of more businesses recalling employees will continue, even if it’s at a slower rate than hoped for.”
Ellzey pointed out that the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provides an additional $600 per week to claimants, is set to expire on July 25.
“This means unless Congress passes additional legislation that extends this program or funds something similar, those currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits, will only receive their weekly benefit amount after July 25, which is a maximum of $326 per week,” Ellzey said.
For the week ending June 20, both Richland and Greenville counties saw 1,642 initials claims filed. Charleston County had 1,242 claims, Horry County 1,015, Spartanburg County 1,003 and Lexington County 828.o