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SC unemployment soars as COVID-19 shuts down hospitality

South Carolina News

Medical University of South Carolina healthcare providers dress in protective suiting, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., as they get ready to open the hospital’s drive-thru tent for patients who are being tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Citadel Mall parking lot. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In the first week of economic disruption from the coronavirus, more than 31,000 people said they lost their jobs in South Carolina.

The state Thursday released unemployment claims for the week ending March 21.

If all claims were approved, the number of people without a job in South Carolina would climb 55% from the January unemployment figures when the state jobless rate was 2.4%.

The sharpest increases in jobless claims last week came from Horry County and Charleston County.

Also Thursday, councils on Hilton Head Island and Columbia are meeting about stay-at-home orders that could put more pressure on the governor to issue one statewide.

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