Your Guide to Gov't Furloughs That Hurt Most
Business + Economy

Your Guide to Gov't Furloughs That Hurt Most


It’s been almost two months since sequestration took effect.  Agencies across the federal government have been busy reallocating spending to accommodate the across-the-board budget cuts. While the Federal Aviation Association and Environmental Protection Agency have already begun furloughing their 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 Personal and Management


Agriculture Department   
More than 2,100 Food Safety and Inspection Service employees have been spared from furloughs, due to the continuing resolution passed by Congress in March. However, two agencies within the department; Farm Service Agency and Rural Development division, will likely be required to take up to 10 furlough days.
2013 Budget: $155 billion 
Workforce: 100,574

Defense Department  
No final decisions have been made about furloughs for the department’s 800,000 civilian employees. Although the number of expected furlough days has been reduced from 22 to 14, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a congressional committee last week that they are still trying to further reduce that number.                                                                                          
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   
In a memo on April 9, EPA officials told employees they now face fewer than 10 days of furlough, rather than the 13 days the agency had warned.
2013 Budget: $8.3 billion
Workforce: 18,655

Federal Aviation Administration  
Nearly all of the 47,000 employees must take furloughs for one-to-two days each pay period through the rest of the fiscal year. Beginning Monday, April 22, all air traffic controllers must take one furlough day every two weeks until Sept 30—eleven total. 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 will furlough 20,000 employees for 16 days, as well as cut spending on information systems, and other areas. Some courthouses, including federal courthouses in the San Francisco Bay Area, will shut their doors for one day a month through September to absorb the cuts.
2013 Budget: $5.2 billion

Internal Revenue Service  
Furloughs for all employees will take place on May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and August 30, and all taxpayer assistance centers throughout the country will be closed on those dates as well.
2013 Budget: 12.2 billion
Workforce: 100,000

Labor Department  
The number of furlough days for affected employees range across the department’s agencies, with some workers taking unpaid leave for up to two days while others are missing up to eight days of pay.
2013 Budget: 49 billion  
Workforce: 16,848

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


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   
HUD will shut its doors  on May 10, May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22, August 16 and August 30.
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

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

Justice Department  
Delaying final decisions until late April or early May.
2013 Budget: 27.1 billion
Workforce: 117,285

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

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