seems like economics 101
January 23, 2019

About 800,000 government workers have gone five weeks without a paycheck. Each one of them has missed an average of $5,600 in wages. And altogether, that's more than the $5.7 billion President Trump ever wanted for his border wall, a new study from Sentier Research has found.

Furloughed government employees, some of whom are still required to work, are about to miss their second paycheck since the government partially lost funding in December, The Washington Post points out. They're owed $4.7 billion so far, and that number will jump to $6 billion on Friday. But it's not as if that massive check has completely disappeared from the government's radar, seeing as Congress and Trump passed a bill guaranteeing all these workers — save for contractors — will be paid once the shutdown ends. That effectively means the government will have to pay more money than originally caused the shutdown, and some of it will go toward work that wasn't even completed.

The last major shutdown in 2013 led to $2 billion in lost wages for about 850,000 workers, an Office of Management and Budget study found. It also led to a .3 percent slowdown in economic growth at the time, leading to the general premise that one week of a shutdown causes a .1 percent drop in growth, the Post notes.

White House Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett predicted a slightly smaller impact on growth, telling CNN on Wednesday that there'd probably be a .1 percent drop every two weeks. But that still could mean big problems, namely a growth number "very close to zero in the first quarter" if the shutdown lasts through March, he said. Read more about the shutdown's economic consequences at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

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