COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce reported a slightly higher number of new claims for unemployment over the week ending Saturday.
A total of 3,567 people submitted their first claim for unemployment last week, according to data from the agency. That’s an increase of 66 over the past week.
It’s also the sixth consecutive week in which the totals rose then fell then rose again week to week. It’s also the sixth consecutive week in which the total initial claims filed remained below 4,000.
Charleston County had the sixth-highest number of first-time claims last week, at 169. Berkeley County reported 144 and Dorchester County reported 77.
Horry County had the most, with 362, followed by Greenville County’s 322, Richland County’s 291 and Spartanburg County, which reported 216. Lexington County rounded out the top five with 180 first-time claims.
Last week, the state paid out $37.1 million in a combination of state and federal unemployment benefits. Since mid-March, the state has paid $4.63 billion in state and federal benefits.
The state’s unemployment rate for October fell to 4.2%, from 5.1% in September, employment officials said last week.
At 4.2%, the state’s unemployment rate is only a few percentage points higher than January’s historic low rate of 2.4%, SCDEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey said last week during a news conference.