5% of Federal Workforce Furloughed Friday as Agencies Shut Down

May 24, 2013

Roughly 117,000 federal employees are on leave without pay Friday in the first major round of sequester-driven furloughs.

The IRS, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Management and Budget, and the Housing and Urban Development Department — which have a combined staff of about 116,600 — closed down entirely May 24 to help meet their mandated budget cuts.

Another 437 Labor Department employees are also furloughed May 24, although the department is not shutting down. And the Interior Department's Park Police is in the process of furloughing roughly 760 employees, although Interior could not say exactly how many of those employees were on unpaid leave Friday and how many were taking their furloughs on another day.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS employees, denounced the furloughs. IRS employees, like all other federal workers, are currently in the third year of a pay freeze and will be hurt even more by being forced to take an unpaid day off, NTEU said. 

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