As unemployment filings among furloughed federal employees doubled last week across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the effects on government contractors are beginning to take shape.
The shutdown is costing contractors an estimated $1.5 billion per week and companies that primarily serve the government have already hemorrhaged “tens of thousands of people,” according to David Berteau, who represents hundreds of companies as head of the Professional Services Council.
Those unemployed government contractors are likely to join the 9,000 furloughed federal employees added to unemployment rolls in the capital region during the week of Jan. 5, Berteau said.
“We have tens of thousands of people laid off or not working in the nine cabinet agencies and other agencies shut down,” Berteau said on a call with reporters last Thursday. “Contractors are feeling more and more impact. Each day, we’re getting notices of stop-work orders from our member companies.”
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