S.C. unemployment claims received since mid-March have topped 700,000, though the weekly total of initial claims decreased for the second time after falling below 13,000 for the first time in 19 weeks.
The 8,909 claims filed for the week ending Aug. 1 represented the third straight week of decreases and a decrease of 3,285 from the previous week, when 12,194 claims were filed.
In the last 20 weeks, 706,528 initial claims have been filed in the state, according to S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce data. DEW has paid more than $3.68 billion in a combination of state and federal benefits in that period.
“For the first time since this pandemic began, our initial claims numbers have dipped well below the 10,000 mark,” Dan Ellzey, DEW executive director, said in a news release. “People are reentering the workplace as employers find new ways to provide innovative and safe working conditions. With the latest restrictions removed last week on theaters, sports venues and concerts, the hope in the coming weeks is this will give a needed boost to many of our state’s desirable attractions and the talented hospitality-driven employees who work there.”
Richland County saw a state-high 804 claims filed for the week ending Aug. 1. Greenville County had 790, Charleston County 536 and Lexington County 492.