Arkansans speak out regarding unemployment assistance ending
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - At the request of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services will end the state’s participation in the federal unemployment assistance after June 26.
According to a report from content partner KATV, this means people will soon stop receiving the weekly $300 government supplement.
Hutchinson hopes the lowering of unemployment benefits will encourage people to return to work.
However, several people said Monday that the money helps, including James Bauldwin, who said he doesn’t feel safe returning to work, having worked in an assisted living facility.
“The people that are trying to get that, most of them actually need it. It’s not because they’re not wanting to go to work,” Bauldwin said. “It’s because it’s helping them so much and they don’t feel safe, they have kids, they have grandparents.”
Bauldwin said he’s looked for jobs in other fields, but they require experience he doesn’t have. He’s concerned about how he’s going to figure out his situation before the end of June.
“It’s going to hurt us a lot,” he said “A whole lot.”
However, Dr. Michael Pakko, chief economist at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, said the worker shortage would likely drive wages up, which means employers will have to offer more pay to incentivize workers to land a job.
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