ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — In Arkansas, first-time unemployment claims for the week ending August 22 were 5,225, a drop of 1,100 compared to last week, according to the Department of Labor’s weekly report.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims were 15,381, an increase of 2,045 compared to last week.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims were 20,251 for the week ending August 8. This was an increase of 2,276 from August 1, according to the DOL.
Arkansas was approved for a $300 per week Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant under the Lost Wages Assistance program — in addition to the regular unemployment benefit.
“This isn’t the $600 that they [unemployed] did have, and it’s not the $400 it could be, this is $300 but that’s a level that’s very important to those in need,” Gov. Hutchinson said.
More than 30 states are approved for this grant. The first states to be approved were Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, and New Mexico on August 15.
On August 8, President Trump approved up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to help people who are unemployed because of COVID-19.
Across the country, a bit more than 1 million first time unemployment claims were filed, according to the DOL. While the claims did drop, unemployment remained historically high.
Johns Hopkins University data shows 24,215,678 confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, and 826,743 deaths as of Thursday morning, August 27. In the U.S. there are 5.8 million cases and 179,770 deaths.
Arkansas has 732 COVID-19 related deaths, and nearly 52,000 people have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins.