Arkansas extra unemployment benefits set to end Saturday

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark (KARK) – Extra unemployment benefits given out during the pandemic are set to end Saturday in Arkansas. 

The pressure now on those without a job to find one in time and for employers they need to get people to apply. 

Goodwill Industries of Arkansas says they’ve seen a 62 percent increase in job seekers in the state since Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s announcement to put an end to the extra benefits. 

“A one-month increase that quickly, has been astonishing,” Goodwill Industries of Arkansas Academy Director Tammy Wheaton said. 

Wheaton said more employers have also sought help from Goodwill to host job fairs to help get more applicants. 

Wednesday ABM Industries hosted a hiring event through Goodwill, they said it’s been difficult to get people to apply for openings. 

“We have over 100 slots open,” said Richardo Yanes with ABM Industries. 

Yanes said the main reason for the slow in applications is because of changing trends and now people believe companies aren’t paying enough for their work. 

“People came in saying ‘I’m making over $800 a week how can you compete.’,” said Yanes. 

Yanes said his company went back and reworked its budget to be able to increase wages for its employees. 

“These top companies are paying $15/$16 an hour,” said Yanes. 

Yanes said he expects more companies to change wages in the coming months to help attract applicants. 

Some across the state are even offering hiring bonuses to people who accept a position. 

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