Local News

Without pay, furloughed workers squeeze savings

Posted January 16, 2019 7:06 a.m. EST
Updated January 16, 2019 7:22 a.m. EST

— The economic impact of the partial government shutdown, in its 26th day on Wednesday, is being felt nationwide and in North Carolina.

The shutdown has given furloughed employees in North Carolina uncertainty.

Many are contacting the state’s unemployment office, hoping that filing unemployment can help them pay bills or put food on the table.

But some workers are finding roadblocks.

Workers would have pay the money back if lawmakers decide to compensate employees for the time the government was closed.

In some cases, no one is at offices to verify unemployment.

These are the concerns of Beatrice Smith, a supervisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Raleigh.

Smith has been furloughed before, she said, but she’s losing sleep over this shutdown.

“Since I have been through this before, I set aside some funds to be prepared for this to happen again,” she said. “But when I learned that this could stretch out to weeks or even months, that is when it became scary.”

Some regional companies, like Duke Energy, are working to help furloughed customers.

The utility company has partnered with local assistance agencies to get funds to those in need.

Smith said she will be calling all of her bill companies to see what assistance she can get in the next week. Her savings can stretch no further than April.