Number of federal workers seeking US jobless aid doubles

In this Jan. 8, 2019, file photo dawn arrives at the Capitol in Washington. Photo: AP/ J. Scott Applewhite
In this Jan. 8, 2019, file photo dawn arrives at the Capitol in Washington.

January 17, 2019 10:30 AM

The number of furloughed federal employees seeking unemployment benefits jumped in the first two weeks of the shutdown, topping 10,000 during the week of Jan. 5.

The Labor Department said Thursday that is double the number of federal workers who sought aid in the previous week. Typically fewer than a thousand former federal employees apply for jobless benefits each week.

Advertisement

Federal employees who aren't working during the partial government shutdown are eligible to claim unemployment aid, while those working without pay are not, the Labor Department has said. Yet even those sent home will have to repay the unemployment aid if they receive back pay once the shutdown ends.

KSTP's government shutdown coverage

The number of Americans overall who sought unemployment benefits last week declined 3,000 to 213,000, the government said. That figure doesn't include federal beneficiaries, who are tracked in a separate category. Applications by federal workers are reported with a one-week delay.

More furloughed federal workers could apply for unemployment benefits in the weeks ahead. The Labor Department will release data for the week ending Jan. 12, the third week of the shutdown, next week.


More from KSTP.com:

Speaker Pelosi calls on President Trump to delay State of the Union during shutdown

Trump says solution to shutdown impasse 'so simple'


The shutdown that began Dec. 22 caused roughly 420,000 federal employees to work without pay. Another 380,000 are not at work and not being paid. Those numbers have shifted a bit in recent days as the IRS and some other agencies have called more employees back to work.

Applications rose last week in states with a large number of federal contractors, many of whom are also working without pay. In Washington D.C., unemployment claims rose to 2,158 from 1,190, while in Virginia they jumped to 5,966 from 3,497 and in Maryland to 4,949 from 4,467.

The overall data suggests the job market remains healthy, with few layoffs. Employers added a strong 312,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate stood at a very low 3.9 percent.

Connect with KSTP


Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Advertisement

Storm brings flash flooding, hail to North Dakota, Minnesota

Shooting in Minneapolis leaves 1 dead

Emotional day as 700 Minnesota National Guard soldiers prepare for deployment to Middle East

Minnesota community honors longtime teacher who died unexpectedly

So Minnesota: St. Paul nun created world's first school safety patrol

Accused labor trafficker could face new charges following 5 INVESTIGATES report

Advertisement