FGA Research Paper Shows How Arkansas is Leading the Country in Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

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“Governor Hutchinson’s decision to end Arkansas’s participation in pandemic-related unemployment programs is a key example of how ending the unemployment bonus is essential to America’s economic recovery,” said Hayden Dublois, Senior Research Analyst at FGA.

This week, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) published a study that highlights the economic success that Arkansas saw after being one of the first states to opt out of the $300 weekly unemployment bonus.

On May 7, 2021, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that Arkansas would end its participation in federal unemployment bonus programs effective June 26. FGA researchers found that his decision to opt-out decreased unemployment spending, increased the number of Arkansans registering for work, and enabled Arkansas employers to hire 160,000 Arkansas workers, helping to fill the record number of open jobs.

The first of its kind investigation highlighted the fact that total unemployment spending has decreased by 90 percent since ending the bonus on June 26, while more than 2,500 new hires are being reported every day. Meanwhile, unemployment claims are continuing to increase in nearby states that have not ended the unemployment bonus.

“Governor Hutchinson’s decision to end Arkansas’s participation in pandemic-related unemployment programs is a key example of how ending the unemployment bonus is essential to America’s economic recovery,” said Hayden Dublois, Senior Research Analyst at FGA. “States and Congress should look to Arkansas as a true success story of how to move Americans off the sidelines and back to work.”

FGA expects to see similar results for the states that have decided to opt out of the $300 unemployment bonus.

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, work, and election reform. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.

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