Personal Finance

These are the states most affected by the government shutdown, study finds

Key Points
  • About 800,000 federal workers won't receive their paychecks because of the current government shutdown, which extended to its thirteenth day on Jan. 3.
  • A new ranking of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., evaluates in which areas of the country workers have been hit hardest.
  • If you live in Washington, D.C., your chances of being negatively impacted by the political impasse are greater.
A sign declares the National Archive is closed due to a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, December 22, 2018.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

If you're a federal employee, you probably rang in the New Year worrying about whether you will get paid.

That is because a partial government shutdown started at midnight on Dec. 22. As of Jan. 3, the closure reached the 13-day mark. The longest government shutdown lasted 21 days, under President Bill Clinton.

Approximately 800,000 federal workers are currently in financial limbo as politicians in Washington struggle to come to an agreement on U.S. border protections.

If you live in certain states, your chances of being one of those employees working without pay or furloughed are greater.

That is according to a new study from personal finance website WalletHub, which ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Shutdown could last long time, says Trump
Shutdown could last long time, says Trump

The ranking is based on five metrics: federal employment compared to total employment; federal contract dollars per capita; the number of families receiving food stamps; real estate as a percentage of gross state product; and access to national parks.

D.C. came in first in the ranking. The city also has the biggest portion of families who are receiving supplemental nutrition assistance.

States most affected by the government shutdown

1District of Columbia
2New Mexico
7West Virginia

Source: Source: WalletHub

New Mexico, which came in second, has a high percentage of workers with federal jobs compared to total employment, according to Jill Gonzalez, senior analyst at WalletHub.

The study found that so-called blue states are slightly more affected by the shutdown compared to red states. That is influenced by the fact that federal jobs are concentrated in Democratic-leaning locations such as Washington, D.C., and Maryland, Gonzalez said.

Still, it is not just government workers who could see the effects of the shutdown.

"We think of federal employees who are heavily affected by this, but what we're missing is a lot of people who are not employed by the federal government ... [who] could take a hit depending on how long this federal shutdown lasts," Gonzalez said.

That includes families receiving food stamps or even just planning to visit national parks, she said.

The map below shows which areas have been most affected. Click on the states to see how they ranked.