Courtesy / Division of Workforce Services

This week, Legal Aid of Arkansas, a nonprofit that represents low-income Arkansans in civil legal proceedings, filed a lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Commerce and its Division of Workforce Services. According to the organization, DWS has repeatedly refused to turn over records requested through the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act that might provide a better understanding of why scores of Arkansans haven't been abele to access unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courtesy / U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

With a national unemployment rate of over 11 percent, many people, including thousands of Arkansans, are wondering what happens next as the pandemic unemployment benefit of an extra $600 a week runs out today and congressional lawmakers have yet to come together on what an extension of those benefits will look like. 

Self-employed Arkansans approved for CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are starting to receive cash benefits following weeks of technical delays. According to Arkansas Secretery of Commerce Mike Preston, out of 33,000 applicants, over 19,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applicants have received interim approval.


J. Froelich / Ozarks at Large

Tens of thousands of self-employed Arkansans have encountered obstacles over the past weeks applying online and by phone for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance cash payments. Recipients were promised relief this week. But over the weekend the PUA web portal had to be shut down after a coding problem was discovered, adding a new layer of controversy. 

J. Froelich / KUAF

The number of out-of-work Arkansans applying for unemployment insurance claims is at historic levels due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected to number more than 150,000 by the end of this week. Several agree to talk about their difficult situations, as they stand in long lines at the Fayetteville Workforce Center observing social distancing rules — forced to wait for hours to be processed due to glitches in online and phone systems, they say.


Record Unemployment

Jun 20, 2016

Arkansas' unemployment rate goes down for better or worse.