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S.C. unemployment claims climb by more than 3,700

Human Resources
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Unemployment claims in South Carolina rose after nearly two months of decreases, with 22,734 people filing claims for the week ending June 6.

That’s an increase of 3,748 claims from the previous week and pushes the number of total claims in the state in the last 12 weeks to 582,265, according to S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce data.

“Although we were hoping for the eighth week in reported decreases in South Carolina, that is not the case for the claim week of week of May 31 (through) June 6, 2020,” Dan Ellzey, DEW executive director, said in a new release.

Among the 10 industries with the highest number of claims, temporary help services saw 1,072 claims filed, while full-service restaurants had 646 and limited-service restaurants 563.

“While the restaurant and tourism industry continues to come back to life, it is still experiencing high unemployment numbers,” Ellzey said.

Manufacturing industries were represented in four of top 10 categories: tire manufacturing (427), broadwoven fabric mills (355), yarn spinning mills (322) and ball and roller bearing manufacturing (205). Ellzey said manufacturers are still dealing with supply chain snags and reduced demand, the effects of which have been more gradual “as opposed to the immediate shutdown of leisure and hospitality businesses at the onset of COVID-19.”

Ellzey also said this is the third year unemployment claims have risen the week after Memorial Day. “The specifics of this three-year trend are unclear, but worth mentioning,” he said.

DEW has paid more than $2.1 billion in a combination of state and federal unemployment benefits since March 15, the agency said.

For the week ending June 6, Greenville County saw a state-high 1,993 unemployment claims filed, followed by Richland (1,858); Spartanburg (1,803); Charleston (1,501); Horry (1,161) and Lexington (1,015).

A jobs report released June 5 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated the national unemployment rate fell by 1.4 percentage points to 13.3%, with the economy adding 2.5 million jobs from April to May. The bureau noted, however, that the unemployment figure would be three points higher if workers who were being paid but not working had been classified as temporarily laid off. The report also found that the unemployment rate for black workers rose to 16.8% from 16.7% and to 15% from 14.5% for Asian workers.  

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