Federal Government Shutdown Direct Impact on Connecticut Among Least in U.S.

The impact of the continuing partial federal government shutdown in Connecticut is among the smallest among the 50 states, in terms of the number of federal employees affected, according to a new analysis. A total of 1,481 federal employees in Connecticut work for agencies that are without federal appropriations, as the political stalemate in Washington, D.C. has drifted into the new year.  That is 18.3% of all federal employees in Connecticut.  There are 6,595 federal employees in Connecticut working for agencies that currently do have federal appropriations.

Nationally, about 800,000 federal employees are working without pay or will be furloughed.  The partial government shutdown began on December 22.

About one-third of federal agencies have not received funding. The largest of the federal agencies not yet funded include the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Interior and Transportation. In these and other agencies, a sizable share of employees are furloughed or working without pay, according to published reports.

Only Maine, Delaware and Rhode Island have fewer federal employees employed by agencies without appropriations, according data compiled by GOVERNING magazine.  Connecticut’s share of the total number of federal employees who work for agencies that have not been funded is four-tenths of one percent.

States most affected – those with the most employees – are the District of Columbia (102,183), California (41,178), Texas (35,694), Virginia (34,344), Maryland (28,266), New York (16,657), Florida (15,992), Colorado (15,818), Georgia (15,735), Missouri (14,048) and Pennsylvania (14,024).

Connecticut’s Department of Labor reportedly hopes to help some of the approximately 1,500 federal employees likely affected by the partial federal government shutdown, and who work or live in Connecticut.  Published reports indicate that Commissioner Kurt Westby indicated that the agency can assist those workers who are eligible to collect unemployment benefits to navigate the unemployment compensation process. Federal employees who are on furlough are eligible to apply online for benefits, while those required to work during the shutdown but are not getting paid are ineligible to file for unemployment.

The impact in D.C. is the greatest.  About 32,000 Homeland Security and Justice department employees are stationed in D.C., GOVERNING reports, many of whom are continuing to report to work without pay. State Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and Smithsonian Institution employees are also heavily concentrated in the District, accounting for more than half the workforce for those agencies.

California is home to nearly 10,000 employees of the Department of Agriculture, which hasn’t secured funding. The state’s federal workforce also includes approximately 7,600 Treasury Department employees and nearly 6,800 in the Department of the Interior, the GOVERNING analysis indicates.  Among agency employees impacted in Texas are nearly 9,000 Treasury Department employees, along with about 5,700 Homeland Security employees and 4,300 in the Department of Transportation.

To determine federal employment in each state, GOVERNING compiled the latest data from the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Data current as of June reflect all civilian workers, excluding those who work for the Postal Service and a limited number of smaller agencies.  The analysis does not include federal relationships that  impact private businesses.