SCDEW May map

South Carolina hits its fifth decrease of unemployment claims since March during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce’s latest numbers show 515,595 initial claims for unemployment were filed in the past nine weeks.

SCDEW said 29,446 people filed for initial unemployment claims, which is down from over 3,000 claims the week prior, for the week ending May 16.

Georgetown County saw 339 initial claims in the latest report, increasing from last week's 328. However, Horry County saw a decline with 1,999 claims in the new report, which is down from last week's 2,694.

“We are prepared to help both employers and claimants navigate the unemployment system during and as they transition back to work. These are trying times and it will take an all handson-deck approach from every single resident to reboot our state’s economy” Dan Ellzey, Executive Director, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, said.

The agency said it’s paid more than $1.35 billion between unemployment benefits and programs tied to the federal CARES Act. The department’s call center also remains open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday.