Sequestration’s Stew of Furloughs and Expense Cuts
Policy + Politics

Sequestration’s Stew of Furloughs and Expense Cuts


One week into sequestration and agencies across the federal government are busy reallocating spending to accommodate the across-the-board budget cuts. While many agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and Defense Department are planning to furlough thousands of employees, others like the Small Business Administration and the Government Accountability Office have planned ahead and are managing the sequester furlough-free.

Here is a rundown of the most up-to-date information of sequestration’s effects on federal government agencies.  Point of information:  A government furlough is a temporary layoff that does not interrupt health care coverage, pensions, or other employee benefits.  No one is fired.

Compiled from Congressional Testimony, the White House Factsheet, Government Executive, Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel and Management.

Agriculture Department
    More than 2,100 Food Safety and Inspection Service employees will be furloughed for two weeks.

2013 Budget: $155 billion 
Workforce: 100,574

Defense Department   DOD will begin furloughing “many” of its 800,000 civilian workers in late April, one day a week for up to 22 workdays, according to congressional testimony from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who did not specify the total number of employees being furloughed

2013 Budget: $525.5 billion
Total workforce: 2,086,701

Economic Development Administration   Will furlough all of its employees for six days.

2013 Budget $220 million 
Workforce: 206

Environmental Protection Agency    The agency expects to furlough many of its 18,000 employees for 13 days, but nothing has been finalized and further details have yet to be released.

2013 Budget: $8.3 billion
Workforce: 18,655

Federal Aviation Administration   Nearly all of the 43,000 employees will be furloughed for one-to-two days each pay period through the rest of the fiscal year. FAA will also close 100 air traffic control towers and eliminate midnight shifts at smaller airports to absorb cuts.

2013 Budget $12.7 billion
Workforce: 43,000

Federal Courts    The Judicial Conference of the United States expects to furlough 20,000 employees for 16 days, as well as cut spending on information systems, and other areas.

2013 Budget: $5.2 billion

Internal Revenue Service   Employees will be furloughed for five to seven days beginning in the summer after the filing season ends, extending through the end of the fiscal year – September 31st.

2013 Budget: 12.2 billion
Workforce: 100,000

Justice Department   The DOJ has already sent out furlough notices to its employees.  Every FBI employee will be furloughed for 14 workdays, or nearly three full weeks through the rest of the fiscal year.

2013 Budget: 27.1 billion
Workforce: 117,285

Broadcasting Board Of Governors
   The agency will avoid furloughs by implementing a hiring freeze, eliminating bonuses and reducing broadcasts to absorb the 5 percent or $37.6 million in spending cuts.

2013 Budget $720 million
Workforce: 1,922

Government Accountability Office    The GAO is planning to avoid furloughing its employees by reducing costs in other areas like travel and IT spending.

2013 Budget $526.2 million
Workforce: 2,975

Government Printing Office    No furloughs. The agency will save money by delaying spending in technology and other investments.

2013 Budget $83.6 million
Workforce: 2,378

Housing And Urban Development    Secretary Shaun Donovan told the Senate Appropriations Committee furloughs would likely be required to absorb the cuts, but did not specify how many employees would be affected.

2013 Budget: $44.8 billion
Workforce: 9,594

Health and Human Services    HHS does not plan to furlough its employees.
2013 Budget $707 billion
Workforce: 64,750

National Institutes Of Health   NIH does not expect to furlough employees, since the bulk of the budget goes toward grants and funding for research. Aside from reductions in research grants, spending on travel and conferences will likely face the chopping block.

2013 Budget: $30.7 billion
Workforce: 18,000

National Labor Relations Board NLRB has already issued formal furlough notices.

2013 Budget: $292.8 million

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration NOAA is issuing furloughs to 2,600 employees.

2013 Budget $5.1 billion
Workforce: 12,222

National Aeronautics and Space Administration  Nothing has been finalized, but NASA expects to furlough an unspecified number of its employees, and cut 20,500 contractor jobs.

2013 Budget: $17.7 billion
Workforce: 18,201

Nuclear Regulatory Commission  NRC isn’t planning on furloughing employees or cutting their salaries.

2013 Budget: $1.053 billion
Workforce: 3,951

Small Business Administration    SBA is avoiding furloughs and will instead rely on staff cuts made through early retirements in 2012. 

2013 Budget $949 million
Workforce: 3,200

Smithsonian Institute    No furloughs

2013 Budget? $856 million
Workforce: 4,233

State Department     Is not expecting to furlough its 40,613 employees.

2013 Budget: 51.6 billion
Workforce: 40,613

Treasury Department   No furloughs for now. Treasury plans to institute hiring freezes, and reduce spending on support, travel, training and supplies.

2013 Budget $14 billion
Workforce: 107,612

Education Department    Furloughs are expected but nothing has been finalized. 

2013 Budget $69.8 billion
Workforce: 4,200

Homeland Security Department   DHS already notified 60,000 custom and border patrol agents to expect furloughs in April. More than 1,000 Secret Service agents are also expected to be furloughed.

2013 Budget $39.5 billion
Workforce: 208,000

Interior Department   Secretary Ken Salazar also said furloughs\are likely for thousands of employees, though nothing has been finalized.

2013 Budget: $11.4 billion
Workforce: 68,894

Labor Department   Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris told employees that some agencies within the department will be forced to furlough employees, though nothing has been finalized yet.

2013 Budget: 49 billion  
Workforce: 16,848

Social Security Administration   The SSA has not made any decisions on whether it will furlough its employees. For now, it is trying to survive on the reduced budget level through attrition. 

2013 Budget: $11.9 billion
Workforce 65,904