As the clock struck midnight December 22, 2018, the United States government shut down for the 21st time in history. This time, it’s a less-intense partial shutdown, which occurs when Congress fails to pass necessary appropriations bills. The partial shutdown has lasted into the New Year, hitting the thirteen-day mark on January 3, 2019. For context, the longest shutdown ever was 21 days under President Bill Clinton, and only seven shutdowns have ever lasted ten days or longer. This is the third shutdown under the Trump administration, but the previous ones lasted only one day and three days, respectively.
When the government shuts down, certain federal employees work without pay or receive a furlough. This includes over 41,000 law enforcement officers, 52,000 IRS workers and 96 percent of NASA employees. “Non-essential” government services also remain inactive and certain benefits are liable to run out of funding. One of the main issues keeping the government in a partial shutdown at the moment is President Trump’s call for increased border security and funding for a border wall, to which Democrats in Congress remain opposed.
Some states are hit harder by a government shutdown than others. To determine the places most affected by the 2019 partial shutdown, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics. They range from each state’s share of federal jobs to federal contract dollars per capita to the share of families receiving food stamps. You can check out the findings below, followed by a complete description of our methodology.
States Most & Least Affected by a Government Shutdown
|1||District of Columbia||78.59||Info||27||Vermont||30.46|
States depend on the federal government for a great deal, from employment to key benefits. To measure the relative impact of the January 2019 partial government shutdown on each state, as well as the District of Columbia, WalletHub identified five basic metrics that speak to how people across the country will be affected by the absence of government services.
Finally, we analyzed publicly available data from official sources to score the shutdown’s impact by state, according to the following rubric. Each metric was scored on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the biggest impact from the government shutdown. We then determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to construct our final ranking.
- Share of Federal Jobs: Double Weight (~28.57 Points)
Note: This metric measures the federal employment as a share of total employment.
- Federal Contract Dollars Per Capita: Full Weight (~14.29 Points)
- % of Families Receiving SNAP (Food Stamps): Double Weight (~28.57 Points)
Note: SNAP funding will continue during the 2019 partial shutdown, but could eventually run out.
- Real Estate as Percentage of Gross State Product: Full Weight (~14.29 Points)
Note: Gross State Product is the equivalent of GDP but at the state level. Mortgage processing will be affected by staffing shortages in the IRS, FHA and VA.
- Access to National Parks: Full Weight (~14.29 Points)
Note: This metric measures both the number of national parks per capita and the acres of national parks per capita. During the 2019 partial shutdown, park staffing has been cut significantly.
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, usaspending.gov, National Association of Realtors and National Park Service.
Image: JPL Designs / Shutterstock.com