For those who think the government shutdown doesn't affect Houston, think again. Patrick Jankowski at the Greater Houston Partnership says even if you're not laid off, your neighbor likely is.
“Potentially 17,000 employees in the Houston region are currently not working and not collecting a paycheck,” Jankowski tells KTRH News. “It could be anywhere between $21-27 million dollars a week in wages which are not being paid.”
Add to that local contractors and their employees.
“There were 1,600 hundred companies in the Houston region which had contracts with the federal government last year,” he says. “Those companies did more over $3 billion worth of service.”
Local attorney Eric Pines represents clients employed by federal agencies. His practice is virtually on hold during the shutdown.
“The Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center, they have funding as I understand, he says. “That's not crystal clear, but as of now everyone I know is still working,” he says.
“The VA regional office which does the claims for veterans, they're running out of money slowly but surely and a few of the people I represent there are not working right now,” says Pines.
Unlike his clients, Pines says nobody will compensate him later on for missing work.
“Federal employees are going to get back paid, so they're basically getting a free vacation when they come back to work,” he says.
“Even if you figure out how many federal employees will be affected, you could almost double that for all the people who work with federal employees and contractors who will not be compensated.”