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Government Squeeze

What Maryland stands to lose if/when the federal government shuts down

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Maryland has 279,000 federal employees, according to the National Treasury Employees Union.

There are about 3.6 million federal workers in total. So that means, if the 279,000 figure is correct, that Maryland has about 7.8 percent of the total federal workforce. (Big caveats: Census data put total federal employees at about 2.5 million as of March 2009, throwing into question the undated union figures. The state’s Department of Legislative Services reportedly estimated the federal payroll in Maryland at about 261,000 as of December 2010.)

Average salary for a federal worker annually was $81,258 in 2009. So call it $82,000.

Divide that by 52 weeks and you get $1,577 per week gross pay.

Multiply that weekly gross pay by 279,000 and you get $439,983,000.

So the state as a whole loses $440 million per week of shutdown, with no multiplier effect.

Two is a conservative multiplier for wage earnings. The idea is that everyone who makes money has to spend some on gas, groceries, rent, mortgage, etc. People providing those goods and services get paid, and then they in turn spend much of the money on their own groceries and the like. 

With a multiplier of two, that’s about $880 million Maryland loses per week of federal government shutdown.

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