The Shutdown: Who Would be Affected and How

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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