In Shutdown Month: Federal Government Added 1,000 Jobs

By Terence P. Jeffrey | February 1, 2019 | 9:24am EST
(Getty Images/Bill Clark)

( - Even though the federal government was in partial shutdown for most of January, it still managed to increase its employees by 1,000, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In December 2018, according to BLS, the federal government employed 2,799,000 workers. In January, it employed 2,800,000.

The federal shutdown began on Dec. 22, 2018 and ended on Jan. 25, 2019.

The BLS’s employment report said that with this net increase of 1,000 federal workers federal employment was “essentially unchanged” in January. It also noted that federal worker who were furloughed during the shutdown were counted as employed because they will be getting paid for the time that they did not work.

“Employment in federal government was essentially unchanged in January (+1,000),” said the BLS report. “Federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were counted as employed in the establishment survey because they worked or received pay (or will receive pay) for the pay period that included the 12th of the month.”

[This is the passage in the January jobs report indicating that the federal government had added 1,000 jobs in January and that employment "in the federal government was essentially unchanged."]

The BLS employment report included an addendum explaining the impact of the partial shutdown.

“Some federal government agencies were shut down or operating at reduced staffing levels during a lapse in appropriations from December 22, 2018, through January 25, 2019,” the report said. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was funded during the shutdown period and was operating as usual. Data collection for the household and establishment surveys occurred as scheduled. “

“In the establishment survey, businesses and government agencies report the number of people on payrolls during the pay period that includes the 12th of the month,” said the BLS report. “Individuals who work or receive pay for any part of the pay period are defined as employed. Federal employees on furlough during the partial federal government shutdown were considered employed in the establishment survey because they worked or received pay (or will receive pay) for the pay period that included the 12th of the month. Other workers (including federal contractors ) who did not work or receive pay during the partial federal government shutdown were not counted among the employed.”



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