New data shows an increase in South Carolina’s initial unemployment insurance claims

South Carolina News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), the number of South Carolinians who filed their initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits last week increased by 1,334.

In the claim week ending August 15th, 7,255 people filed an initial claim.

The total of initial claims received since mid-March is 719,704.

“Although this week’s initial claims data exhibited an uptick, fluctuation of claims data is common. Our teams have reviewed the available information and there is no significant singular event that can account for the increase,” explained DEW executive director Dan Ellzey.

According to Ellzey, looking at initial claims data month-over-month rather than week-over-week numbers might present a more accurate picture.

“For instance, the four-week period from claim week ending June 27 to claim week ending July 18 saw 67,248 initial claims; however the most recent four-week period from claim week ending July 25 to claim week ending August 15 saw 34,279 initial claims – nearly half of the number for the prior month’s time,” said Ellzey.

From March 15 to August 18, DEW has paid more than $3.81 Billion in a combination of South Carolina UI benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (for the self-employed and others), the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($600 per week) program, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (extension of benefits for 13 weeks) program and Extended Benefits (Additional 16 weeks of benefits after PEUC). 

If anyone needs assistance with a claim, DEW offers help with their call center at 1-866-831-1724.

 Call center hours:

  • Monday and Tuesday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (extended hours)
  • Wednesday – Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 8 a.m. – NOON 

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