State records slight drop in first-time unemployment claims over past week

Updated: Nov. 19, 2020 at 1:16 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina employment officials say the number of people who filed their initial claim for unemployment benefits for the week ending Saturday dropped slightly over the previous week.

For the week ending Saturday, 3,501 people filed their first claim for unemployment. That’s a drop of 126 over the previous week, according to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

It also marks the fifth consecutive week in which the total claims were fewer than 4,000.

Charleston County had the sixth-highest number of new claims at 178. Berkeley County reported the eighth-highest at 140.

Greenville County led the state with 363 claims.

Data from SCDEW states that South Carolina paid out $34.4 million in a combination of state and federal benefits last week.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in mid-March, the state has paid out a total of $4.59 billion in state and federal benefits.

The state is expected to release October’s unemployment figure within days. Last month, SCDEW officials said the state’s September unemployment rate had dropped to 5.1% from August’s 6.4%.

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