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At Least 6,500 Federal Employees in Kentucky Affected by Shutdown

By Jennifer Burnett
Thousands of federal employees working in Kentucky have been affected by the federal shutdown, which is now the longest in U.S. history.

A recent Washington Post article analyzed data from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and determined that at least 6,500 federal employees in Kentucky have been affected by the shutdown, including 3,700 working for the Department of Agriculture, 2,000 in the Department of the Interior and 800 in the Department of Health and Human Services. These figures include those who are furloughed and not working at all as well as essential employees who are still working but are not being paid.

Across the U.S. there are more than 800,000 federal employees working in all 50 states who are affected by the shutdown. 


Federal Employment in Kentucky, By County

The Bureau of Labor Statistics* reports that there were a total of 35,618 federal employees working in Kentucky in June 2018 (although a fraction of those employees have been furloughed or otherwise affected by the shutdown) with an average weekly wage of $1,586. That means about 2% of total employment is made up of federal employees in the Kentucky.

Six counties – Cumberland, Elliott, Lee, Magoffin, Owsley and Robertson County – have just a handful of federal employees (10 or fewer). Seven counties – Boone, Christian, Fayette, Hardin, Jefferson, Kenton and Madison County – each have more than 1,000 federal employees employed in their county.

When considering the percentage of jobs in a county, federal employment makes up more than 15% of employment in two counties – McCreary (17.7%) and Martin (16.7%) and more than 10% of employment in three more counties: Christian, Edmonson and Hardin County. Federal employment makes up less than 2% of employment in a majority of counties (104). Scott County has the lowest percentage of employment that is federal (.22%), followed by Bullitt County (.29%) and Robertson County (.31%).

*U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages



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