Up to 10,000 Arkansans have applied for unemployment during coronavirus pandemic

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson estimated anywhere between 8,000 to 10,000 people in Arkansas have applied for unemployment since the state made it easier to apply five days ago.

Hutchinson announced on March 17 that the state would allow Arkansans to apply for unemployment online.

The governor said even though he estimates up to 10,000 have applied for unemployment, he expected more would have applied if the “systems were working as they should.”

He said that the amount of claims filed was something “we have never seen before in my lifetime” and the state’s system wasn’t equipped to handle the workload.

Hutchinson said that means the state is working diligently to upgrade the state system and has asked the General Assembly for $1.1 million in IT upgrades to do that.

Commerce Secretary Mike Preston said once these upgrades are implemented it would allow the systems be running 24/7. As of right now, the system closes down on weekends.

If you’d like to get more information on filing for unemployment, beginning tomorrow, March 23, you can call 844-908-2178 or visit the website by clicking here.

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