Initial Claims Drop

Greenville County leads state in claims

Lee Rogers
April 30, 2020 - 11:27 am
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iStock/Getty Images Plus - designer491

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SC Department of Employment and Workforce issued the following statement Thursday.

Initial Claims: In the week ending April 25, 2020, the advance figures for South Carolina initial claims* are 65,159, a decrease of 7,957 initial claims from the week prior. This is the second week of a reported decrease in initial claims since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of this year. This means that there were 65,159 individuals who both live and work in the state of South Carolina who filed an initial claim during the claim week, April 19, 2020 - April 25, 2020. This is the data you will see reflected in the county information below.

*An initial claim is a claim filed by an unemployed individual after a separation from an employer. The claimant requests a determination of basic eligibility for the UI program. When an initial claim is filed with a state, certain programmatic activities take place and these result in activity counts including the count of initial claims. The count of U.S. initial claims for unemployment insurance is a leading economic indicator because it is an indication of emerging labor market conditions in the country. However, these are weekly administrative data which are difficult to seasonally adjust, making the series subject to some volatility.

County Map (Intrastate)

Initial Unemployment Claims County Map
SC Department of Employment and Workforce

“For the second week in a row, we have had a significant decline in the number of individuals filing initial claims for unemployment. From a high of 87,686 two weeks ago, the 65,134 new claims this week this week reflect a drop of 22,552 claims. While this apparent trend is good news, the fact remains that we have a record number of unemployed people. We want everyone to know that we are doing everything we can to simplify the system and help people successfully navigate the claims process.

“Earlier this week, we announced extended hours for our call center. Additionally, we have increased the number of people answering phones from 49 to over 450. We are also working with the call center provider to make the system more efficient and productive. In regard to the benefits portal itself, our vendor has been revising the wording of questions in an attempt to eliminate issues. In the past six weeks, over 400,000 people have filed initial claims. While we think we are making progress in the handling of claims, we want everyone to know that we are doing everything in our power to assist people in obtaining benefits and are preparing to help people find jobs when the economy turns around,” said Dan Ellzey, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director.

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