COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The latest numbers of initial unemployment claims show filings are still slowing even though the total count continues to grow.
A total of 559,531 South Carolinians have filed initial claims since mid-March.
In the week ending Saturday, 18,986 people filed their first claim for unemployment insurance. That only includes people who had not filed previously filed a first claim and those who are not renewing earlier claims first filed during that time.
Last week’s total represents a decrease of 5,964, marking the seventh weekly decrease in new claims, according to South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce spokesperson Heather Biance.
The agency has paid more than $1.8 billion in a combination of state UI benefits and CARES Act programs, FPUC ($600), PUA and PEUC, she said.
Greenville County had the highest number of weekly claims at 1,880, with Richland County at 1,634. Spartanburg County recorded the third-highest number at 1,385, followed by Charleston County at 1,362 and Horry County st 1,198.
Berkeley County had 735 new weekly claims and Dorchester County recorded 608.
Call center hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday.
“These hours were adjusted to allow more of our staff to be available during the peak times folks were actually calling us,” Biance said.
Meanwhile, figures from U.S. Department of Labor showed a total of 1.87 million Americans filed for unemployment in the past week nationwide.