economy, employment, job search, unemployment

8 Ways the government shutdown impacts jobs, job seekers, and the economy

This is day 16 of the government shutdown. Unfathomably, our leaders have failed to effectively govern for more than half a month–and now we are one day away from default.

Nobody is entirely sure what the implications are of us defaulting on our debt–but everyone is in agreement that it won’t be pretty.


But how else is the government shutdown impacting jobs, job seekers, and workers?

  1. The IRS isn’t issuing replacement W-2’s. If you need to provide proof of employment for a prior employer as part of being hired for a new job, said prior employer isn’t verifying or is no longer in business, and you’ve lost that old W-2? You may be out of luck. This scenario is very common–and could result in an employer not hiring someone, at least until the shutdown ends..
  2. The DOL isn’t allowing employers to file labor certifications. This means that if you have an employee that does not have permanent US work authorization, you have hit a roadblock. Further, companies that employ law firms to facilitate labor certification recruitments may have spent $10-15k per employee on this process–money that may be evaporating as there is a limited window of time to complete the labor certification process.
  3. Low-wage contracted government workers aren’t receiving paychecks. Many people who work for the government may do so through a contractor (ex: mailroom clerks). While Congress has pledged to provide back pay for full time government employees, there is no such guarantee for some contracted employees–and they are often the people living paycheck to paycheck.
  4. Government-funded job training programs for food stamp recipients may be cut. These programs, funded by the USDA and called SNAP E&T, are not receiving funding during the shutdown. It is up to the states to determine whether they have sufficient budget available to continue the programs. Several states require unemployed people receiving food stamps to be actively looking for work, in many cases requiring them to be enrolled in a SNAP E&T program. If these programs run out of money, it’s possible that could lose their food stamp money.
  5. Factory workers are at greater risk. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has halted regular safety inspections of factory work environments.
  6. The E-Verify program is offline. More than 400,000 U.S. employers use E-Verify each week to verify employment eligibility of prospective new hires. E-Verify being offline may cause certain new hires to be in a limbo status until the system resumes operation.
  7. Closing national parks has a massive cascade impact on local tourism-based businesses. Major national parks often are the major economic driver for the small towns that surround them. Many of those towns (and the workers who live there) are being devastated; projected losses nationwide estimated at $76 Million a day.
  8. The Small Business Administration will not be issuing the following types of loans or providing the following services to current/prospective small businesses seeking to create or expand employment:

• 7(a) Loan Guarantees
• 504 Certified Development Loans
• Microloan
• Surety Bond Guarantees
• Procurement Assistance Program
• Small Business Procurement Set-Aside
• 8(a) Business Development
• 7(i) Technical Assistance HUBZone
• Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting
• Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Procurement
• Size Standards
• Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
• Women’s Business Centers (WBC)
• Veteran’s Business Development
• Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC)
• Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
• Small Business Technology Transfer Program
• International Trade
• Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program
• PRIME Program
• Regional Investment Clusters
• Native American Outreach
• BusinessUSA
• Ombudsman Program
• Secondary Market Guarantee
• Emerging Leaders
• Inspector General (excluding disaster-funded and investigatory activities) Advocacy
• Program Management and Administration



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