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Number of South Carolinians filing for initial unemployment drops for 4th week

32,513 people filed for unemployment in South Carolina during the week ending May 9, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The number of people filing initial unemployment claims in South Carolina has fallen for the fourth time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW).

The number of initial filings for the most recent week was 32,513, a drop of 14,234. Still, that number is several times higher than even the peak of the 2008-2009 recession.

Here's a further look at the latest numbers for the week ending May 3-May 9:

  • In the claim week ending May 9, 32,513 people filed their initial claim for unemployment insurance (UI).
  • This is a decrease of 14,234 initial claims from the week prior.
  • This is the 4th decrease recorded since mid-March.
  • In the last 8 weeks, the total number of initial claims has risen to 486,149 in South Carolina.
  • The agency has paid more than $1.09 Billion in a combination of state UI benefits and CARES Act programs, FPUC ($600) and PUA.
  • SCDEW has adjusted call center hours from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. during weekdays and 8 a.m. – noon this Saturday, May 16. These hours were adjusted to allow more staff to be available during the peak times folks were actually calling the department. SCDEW says it will continue to monitor ways it can work efficiently and effectively for claimants.

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