October 23, 2013

Just because the government shutdown is officially over, does not mean that the ramifications are not continuing to cause headaches. The after-effects of the shutdown have been staggering, and its devastating economic effects are increasingly on the rise as more and more data becomes available.

It has been reported by the Labor Department that during the first week of October alone, roughly 70,000 furloughed employees applied for unemployment benefits, including many from the IRS. Lasting just 16 days, the government shutdown, beginning on October 1, rendered thousands of federal employees temporarily without a job to go to, much less a paycheck to cash for daily needs.

Due to this, a vast amount of these employees were granted the ability to file to receive unemployment benefits. However, the Congress has now passed approval for retroactively paying said workers, and will now expect the workers to repay the unemployment checks issued. Such actions are reminiscent of a similar shutdown in 1995-1996, when furloughed state workers were expected to return to the state any overpaid unemployment amounts.

Although the Department of Labor has not issued a report on the entire season of the shutdown, CNNMoney has gathered data from several states separately. Maryland claims reached 20,000, 16,000 in Washington D.C, 7,600 from Pennsylvania, and roughly 6,000 Virginian claims over the 16-day cessation period.

It is also important to take into account that there still may be claims coming in, despite the shutdown having officially ended. Evidence showing the shutdown dramatically drove unemployment claims to skyrocket can be seen especially in California, where processing delays are believed to have made a marked difference in the data being temporarily elevated.

As an indicator of the current health of the nation’s job market, this Labor Department report took on a great level of importance, as it was one of the only government data compilations that continued to be collected and published throughout the duration of the 16-day government stall. Yet to be released is the official September job report, a data analysis detailing both the number of jobs created, as well as figuring the United States’ national unemployment rate. It is yet to be determined when such data will officially be released to the public.

The meeting of the Federal Reserve is eagerly awaited in hopes of shedding some positive light on the current state of affairs, and is scheduled to take place on October 29 and 30.

Photo: Bytemarks