S.C. has paid more than $4 billion in unemployment claims since pandemic began

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said Thursday morning the total...
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said Thursday morning the total number of people who filed initial unemployment claims dropped again last week for the third week in a row.(AP)
Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 8:41 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce said the payout of state and federal unemployment benefits surpassed the $4 billion mark since the pandemic began.

That total includes regular state unemployment benefits, pandemic unemployment assistance for the self-employed and others; Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides $600 per week; the Pendemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, an extension of benefits for 13 weeks; and extended benefits, which provided an additional 16 weeks of benefits after PEUC.

SCDEW spokesperson Heather Biance said 4,283 people filed their initial claim for unemployment insurance in the week ending this past Saturday, a drop of 830 over the previous week.

In the last 26 weeks, the total number of initial claims rose to 739,643 in the state.

Richland County had the highest number of claims last week at 438, with Greenville a close second at 418. Charleston County was in fourth place at 286 behind Horry County’s 299.

SCDEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey said that while the weekly claims are still double what they had been pre-COVID-19, the drop in new claims indicates the state continues to bounce back.

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