New Unemployment Claims in South Carolina Down for 1st Time in over a Month

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Friday, April 24th, 2020

Initial Claims: In the week ending April 18, 2020, the advance figures for South Carolina initial claims
are 73,116, a decrease of 14,570 initial claims from the week prior. This is the first decrease recorded in
initial claims since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of this year. This means that there were
73,116 individuals who both live and work in the state of South Carolina who filed an initial claim during
the claim week, April 12, 2020 - April 18, 2020. This is the data you will see reflected in the county
information below.

“Our agency is heartened to see the first decrease in initial claims after so many weeks. We hope that
this will begin to set a downward trend as individuals who have already filed continue to receive their
benefits through this crisis and other claimants receive their funds through some of the additional
federal programs we are still implementing,” said Jamie Suber, S.C. Department of Employment and
Workforce Chief of Staff. “We know that, as a state, we still have much to accomplish before we begin
to feel a sense of normalcy, but our agency is actively responding to the needs of individuals and
businesses as we work through this together.”

Agency Responsiveness Actions:

- The agency has paid more than $351 million in a combination of state UI benefits and the CARES
Act $600 contribution.

- Over the last five weeks, these payments were made in support of the 341,730 initial claims
received.

- Additional programs are being implemented in the system to begin paying federal funds through
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

- The agency’s call center has been increased by 856 percent. CSRs are working 8:00 a.m. to 5:00
p.m. Monday thru Friday, to help with claims questions. Additionally, staff continue to work
extended hours each weekday and through weekends making outbound calls to service the
needs of fellow South Carolinians.

- If you are self-employed, a contractor, gig workers, file a 1099 and have already filed for
unemployment insurance – you will receive a notification via email or through text messaging (if
you opted for SMS texts) with next steps. If you are determined eligible, your funds will be paid
retroactively.

- A Chatbot feature has been added to the website to help answer unemployment and COVIDrelated
questions. This enhancement is robust with information about the UI process, federal
funds provided through the CARES Act, employer filing and more.

- You can also visit the COVID-19 Resource Hub, dew.sc.gov website or our social media platforms
for updated information.