With no end in sight to the partial-government shutdown, federal workers nationwide are adjusting to the possibility of an extended shutdown. While many areas of the country are heavily impacted, Ohio is poised to weather this storm.
In a new report published Thursday, Ohio was revealed to be one of the states least affected by the government shutdown. Of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, The District was the most negatively affected with Minnesota as the least. Ohio came in at 42nd.
The report was executed by WalletHub, a financial services company based in Washington DC. The rankings were the result of combining measurements for;
- Share of Federal Jobs
- Share of Federal Contract Dollars Per Capita
- Percentage of Families Recieving SNAP
- Real Estate as Percentage of Gross State Product
- Access to National Parks
The report also found states which voted Democrat in 2016 were slightly more affected than states that voted Republican.
According to the Labor Department numbers, as of June 2017, Ohio has 78,575 federal employees. While many of these Ohio residents have been affected by the government shutdown, almost half of these employees are military personnel, Department of Defense employees, of Veterans Affairs employees. This partial shutdown has left the overwhelming majority of these jobs intact. A significant percentage of these jobs are based at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base which was largely unaffected.
The partial shutdown began on December 22nd over a budgetary dispute between Democratic and Republican legislative leaders. President Donald Trump has refused to any spending bill that does not include a provision of $5 billion dollars for border security, including the construction of a wall. Democrats, however, will grant no more than just over a billion dollars and no provision for construction of a wall.
As the building of a wall was one of President Trump’s main campaign promises, a failure to secure funding would be considered a betrayal by many of his most ardent supporters. Meanwhile, as Democratic leaders feel they are “winning” the shutdown battle, they feel no political pressure to agree to Trump’s terms.
Complicating matters is the staggeringly positive Jobs Report released Friday. The Labor Department’s hiring and unemployment figures for the month of December 2018 were almost twice as what they were expected to be. 312,000 jobs were added to the economy, the biggest monthly gain since February.
Unemployment did tick up slightly due to 419,000 new workers entering the workforce. This has caused many to question how unemployment numbers are calculated. A constant criticism of the Obama Administration was the dismissal of labor participation rates. When unemployed individuals gave up looking for jobs, they were no longer counted in the unemployment rates. This led to many criticizing the unemployment numbers that Obama’s administration heavily promoted. In a blistering op-ed, Jim Clifton, the Chairman, and CEO of Gallup in 2015 called the numbers “The Big Lie.”
These positive numbers for the Trump Administration could give Republicans much-needed leverage to make a case for their budget priorities.
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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to [email protected].