329 myrtle beach sunrise MB_JM02.JPG

The sun rises in Myrtle Beach on Friday, March 27, 2020. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

For the third straight week, Horry County led the state in unemployment claims, according to data released Thursday by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

Horry County residents filed 10,098 requests for unemployment benefits during the week ending April 4. That’s up from the 9,672 filed the prior week, and more evidence of the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

With government bans on short-term rentals and sit-down dining — along with the forced closure of many “non-essential” businesses and a stay-at-home order issued this week — thousands of people have found themselves out of work.

For the first week in March, just 99 people filed claims for unemployment benefits in Horry County. The next week, 112 did. Then the number jumped to 5,258 — the most of any county in South Carolina. And that total nearly doubled the following week.

Statewide, 85,018 people filed for unemployment last week, according to SCDEW. That's an increase of 31% from the previous week. State officials have processed 180,928 claims over the past three weeks.

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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I'm the editor of myhorrynews.com and the Carolina Forest Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Horry County, South Carolina. I cover county government, the justice system and agriculture. Know of a story that needs to be covered? Call me at 843-488-7236.

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