Furloughed worker: Ironic Congress gets paid

Furloughed federal employees across the country continue struggling to make ends meet as the government shutdown drags on. CNN's Suzane Malveaux reports.

Posted: Jan 8, 2019 7:13 AM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 7:40 AM

Regardless of how well the American economy is doing, the January jobs report might be ugly.

If the government shutdown lasts through next week, most of the 800,000 workers who have been furloughed will be counted as unemployed. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics bases its report on a survey of workers taken during the pay period that contains the 12th of each month. That's this Saturday, and many pay periods end on the 19th.

If the furloughed workers end up being counted as unemployed, January could be the first month that jobs declined since September 2010.

And the decline could be comparatively large. The biggest seasonally adjusted, month-over-month loss during the Great Recession was in March 2009, when 802,000 jobs were wiped out. The largest monthly job loss on record, 1.97 million, was in September 1945 as America's wartime economy came to a halt.

The last prolonged government shutdown, in 2013, didn't discernibly affect the headline jobs number because most workers received wages for some part of the pay period that included the 12th of the month. It did, however, contribute to a rise in the number of people counted as unemployed and an uptick in the unemployment rate.

A January swoon, following December's report that employers added 312,000 jobs, probably wouldn't have a big impact on the market because traders would see it coming. The number would also presumably bounce back when the shutdown ends.

But it sure won't look good. The White House has already begun working to counter bad public perception.

"And so what we'll say, if we were to see that negative number: 'Well sure, it was negative, but if you adjust for the furlough, it looks like another plus-200 month or something like that,'" Council of Economic Advisers chairman Kevin Hassett told reporters last week at the White House.

The January jobs report, due out on February 2, may also reflect an expected decline in employment among federal contractors and workers in ancillary jobs — think people who work in sandwich shops or in daycare centers — that depend on federal employees going to the office.

In 2013, the Council of Economic Advisers estimated that the combination of a shutdown and uncertainty created by arguing over whether to raise the debt limit led to the creation of 120,000 fewer private-sector jobs over two weeks.

The overall economy is not expected to take a big hit from the shutdown, because workers are expected to be paid after the fact, when the government reopens. Congress will have to pass a law to make that happen, and President Donald Trump will have to sign it.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 587405

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson853851591
Mobile48932864
Madison37517533
Shelby27280257
Tuscaloosa27171465
Montgomery26172627
Baldwin25399329
Lee17224181
Calhoun15401334
Morgan15170291
Etowah14954370
Marshall13116235
Houston12077293
Elmore10915219
St. Clair10763252
Limestone10725158
Cullman10546205
Lauderdale10255254
DeKalb9508192
Talladega8949188
Walker7793288
Autauga7563114
Jackson7400117
Blount7362139
Colbert6703142
Coffee6365132
Dale5650117
Russell480243
Chilton4771117
Covington4749125
Franklin458181
Tallapoosa4519156
Escambia441383
Chambers3949125
Dallas3743163
Clarke371263
Marion3463107
Pike332579
Lawrence3263100
Winston298773
Bibb290465
Geneva283983
Marengo262467
Barbour250961
Pickens245562
Butler240872
Hale235578
Fayette227065
Henry213945
Monroe202141
Randolph201144
Cherokee199248
Washington185239
Macon170552
Crenshaw168358
Clay166259
Cleburne161345
Lamar151038
Lowndes145455
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh121332
Coosa118329
Perry110528
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
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Hi: 81° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 83°
Columbus
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Oxford
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Feels Like: 83°
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The heat wave that controlled our area over the past several days is now behind us. The forecast for the next week looks a bit cooler & less humid.
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