Initial Unemployment Claims in South Carolina the Lowest Since March

Staff Report

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Initial Claims: For claim week ending June 20, 2020, the number of South Carolinians who filed their initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits is 17,098, a decrease of 2,268 initial claims from the week prior. This brings the initial claims total to 618,729 received since mid-March.

“Our latest initial claims number shows another decline, the lowest we have been able to report since early March, but overall is still stubbornly high. We are seeing more businesses re-opening cautiously and safely, navigating the challenge of customer and employee safety while making sound business decisions. We anticipate this trend of more businesses recalling employees will continue, even if it’s at a slower rate than hoped for,” said Dan Ellzey, Executive Director, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

“We also want to bring attention to the upcoming deadline of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides an additional $600 per week to UI claimants. It is set to expire on July 25, 2020 – one month from today. This means unless Congress passes additional legislation that extends this program or funds something similar, those currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits, will only receive their weekly benefit amount after July 25, which is a maximum of $326 per week,” continued Ellzey.

“We continue to encourage job seekers to seek employment when an opportunity is presented. Our SC Works centers are readily available to help you search, find, apply and prepare you for your next step, even if additional education or training is required. There’s a wealth of information available to you right now on,” concluded Ellzey.

Agency Responsiveness:

 From March 15, 2020 to June 23, 2020, the agency has paid more than $2.5 billion in a combination of South Carolina UI benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (for the self-employed and others), the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($600 per week) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (extension of benefits for 13 weeks) program.

 DEW continues to operate on an extended schedule this week. Monday and Tuesday are our highest call volume days in our call center. Wednesday through Saturday are our lower call volume days. If you need assistance we encourage you to call on an off peak day to avoid longer wait times.

Call center hours (1-866-831-1724)

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. – Noon

PLEASE NOTE: The Call Center will be closed July 3 & July 4 in observance of Independence Day.