LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson updated the public on the unemployment situation due to COVID-19 Saturday, including stating that over 300,000 calls have already been made to the unemployment hotline.
Since then, 54 new employees have been added to call centers to help handle the high demand.
Currently 66,000 unemployment claims have been filed with 8,000 of those currently being processed as quickly as possible. Hutchinson says that state bridge loan programs have approved 80 loans in 36 counties — totaling $1.7 million dollars thus far.
The governor also announced that 10 million dollars in federal assistance grants will come to rural Arkansas hospitals that are financially struggling during the pandemic.