South Carolina unemployment ticks up to 4.6% in December

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South Carolina’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly in December to 4.6%, according to a new report from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW).

“There’s no doubt that December 2020 was filled with uncertainty as the CARES Act federal programs came to an end, and we all watched and waited to see if federal extensions would be signed into law,” DEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey said.

Now that DEW has implemented new federal unemployment benefits approved by Congress in December, Ellzey encourages claimants to seek new opportunities this year, as federal benefits will be available until March 13.

“We understand there is anxiety for claimants who are constantly worried about looming deadlines and benefits coming to an end; the chance that extensions won’t be approved, won’t be approved in time to avoid a gap in benefits, or that eligibility requirements might change,” Ellzey said. “Our goal is to help claimants find employment that provides permanency that unemployment benefits do not.”

While South Carolina’s unemployment rate increased slightly in December from 4.4% to 4.6%, the state is below the national average unemployment rate of 6.7%.

About 93,000 fewer South Carolinians were employed in December 2020 than in December 2019, DEW data showed.

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