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Unemployment claims top 87,600 in week

Staff Report //April 16, 2020//

Unemployment claims top 87,600 in week

Staff Report //April 16, 2020//

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More than 87,600 people filed for unemployment in South Carolina for the week ending April 11, an increase of approximately 3.14% from the previous week’s total of 85,018.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce said that 87,686 people filed for unemployment insurance from April 5 to April 11.

Greenville County saw 10,378 claims filed, while Horry County had 7,930. Spartanburg County saw 7,258, Charleston County 6,877, Richland County 5,950 and Lexington County 4,080.

A county-by-county look at unemployment claims filed from April 5 to April 11. (Image/Provided)The agency said it has processed 268,614 claims in the four weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting state workers in large numbers. Since the week ending March 14, when 1,996 initial claims were filed, claims have increased 4,293.09%, according to a news release from DEW.

DEW said $114 million in regular state unemployment benefits as well as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Funds were distributed from April 5 to April 11. Additional federal funds from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program have yet to reach the state, according to the release.

DEW’s call center staff has increased from 46 customer service representatives to 292, with more staff being trained daily, the agency said. DEW expects to have 500 customer service representatives in place by the end of next week.

The agency has added a chat feature to its website to help answer questions and continues to update the website, along with its Facebook and Twitter accounts.