Just under 3,000 Horry County residents filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week, according to the latest data from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.
The county's 2,694 claims mark a decrease from the previous week, but that is still a staggering increase from the 112 filed before the COVID-19-related business closures began in March. The latest weekly total is the second highest behind Greenville (3,494 claims) among the state's 46 counties.
Statewide, 32,513 people filed unemployment claims for the week ending May 9. That's a decrease of 14,234 from the previous week, but over the last two months 486,149 claims have been filed in South Carolina.
In Horry County, 53,582 unemployment claims have been filed since the state's pandemic response began, according to public records.
“Over the last week we have seen another decline in the number of unemployment insurance (UI) initial claims," said Dan Ellzey, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, in a news release. "This four-week trend correlates with the gradual transition from pronounced unemployment to a portion of the population reporting back to work as the governor reengages the state’s businesses.
"At the same time, our agency is continuing to process claims to make sure all eligible individuals receive payments, back-dated appropriately. As South Carolinians begin to return to work, we know most will be ready to get back to the long-term stability of employment, but we also understand that some individuals may face challenges. We will support employers and employees through this process of reemployment, which is key to the state’s economic recovery.”