Statistics: More than 71,000 have used all SC jobless aid

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — More than 71,000 idled workers in South Carolina already have used up their eligibility for state unemployment benefits as the coronavirus pandemic continues, federal statistics show.

The Post and Courier reported that the number of people exhausting their 20 weeks of state unemployment eligibility shows many workers who were laid off in the spring don’t have jobs to return to even though the number of new layoffs has declined.

People without additional eligibility can no longer receive money from the state’s unemployment trust fund, which is managed by the S.C. Department of Employment Workforce. But they can claim benefits from two other federal programs that provide as much as 23 weeks of additional financial support.

The most recent employment survey estimated there were 65,000 fewer people employed in South Carolina in September than there were in March, when the pandemic began affecting the economy.