The Shutdown: Who Would be Affected and How

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Little time remains for Congress and the President to avert a partial government shutdown. That means thousands of government workers could be furloughed, some government services would be curtailed, and major landmarks would be closed. Here’s an overview for the New York metro area.

Federal workers

 There are approximately 100,000 civilian federal workers in New York and New Jersey; about 50,000 in New York City. Federal agencies have examined their staffing, and already warned some non-essential workers they may not be needed. Furloughed staff will be ordered to stay home, and receive no pay.


Citizens drawing benefits

Many critical benefits, including Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment, and SNAP (or food stamps) will continue as usual. However, new applicants for government benefits will likely have to wait.



The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian would be closed. However, passport offices should remain open – making a change from the 1995-1996 government shutdown, when some Americans wishing to travel abroad were stranded. Air traffic controllers will continue to work, which means any delays on the tarmac can’t be blamed on the shutdown.



Construction companies, social service agencies, tools suppliers, and other businesses that contract with the government may find their checks come late. Likewise, shops and eateries near government office buildings will suffer from reduced business, as furloughed workers stay home. The longer there’s no breakthrough in Washington, the more likely it is that Americans will lose their jobs.


What's not affected

Active duty military personnel and federal prison guards will continue to be paid. The National Weather Service will stay open, meat inspections will continue, as will federal student loan programs, and snail mail will still be delivered. Lastly – and this may not speed a resolution – members of Congress will continue to draw a paycheck, whether they resolve their differences and agree on a spending plan, or not.


With reporting from the Associated Press


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Comments [4]

Della Gehl from NYC

Jill Strauss expressed my thoughts only better.

Oct. 01 2013 05:11 PM
Jill Strauss from New York City

How is it possible that members of Congress continue to get paid while others are furloughed or expected to work now and be paid later?????? Not only is this grossly unjust but they (mainly Republicans but all) should also feel the consequences of their positional behavior.

Sep. 30 2013 11:46 AM
Unemployed NYer from NYC

What about extended unemployment? The Sequester has already cut 10.7% from the unemployment payment. Will the government shutdown make further cuts or stop the Extended Unemployment funding?

Sep. 30 2013 10:34 AM
Hillary from Long Island NY

Lumping the mail in with the "essential services" that will continue through a shutdown is misleading. Yes, it will continue, but because the Post Office receives no federal monies and is not affected by the shutdown

Sep. 30 2013 08:35 AM

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