Due to a recall over the weekend of 350,000 workers, the total number of federal employees furloughed was cut in half. The move was made by the Defense Department on Saturday to bring back almost all of its workers on the same day that the United States mounted military operations in Somalia and Libya. Though the summons to return to work was welcome news for hundreds of thousands of families, over a million more still remain in a lurch.
Despite the decrease in the number of furloughed workers to 450,000, more than one million more still on the job are not receiving pay. As the shutdown stretches into its second week, concern and anxiety over how they’re going to make it is rising amongst many. CNBC reports that federal employees are increasingly turning to sites like eBay and Craigslist to sell items and raise badly needed cash. Others are selling their labor.
Temporary work site Task Rabbit has seen the number of people who’ve registered for jobs reach an all-time high since the shutdown. The number of those offering their services on Task Rabbit has doubled since October 1. With the normal payday for many federal employees scheduled for this week, pressure to figure out new ways to make ends meet will only grow.
Although the Defense Department is mostly back, agencies focused on education, the environment and health remain mostly closed. As a federal employee told me over the weekend, “everybody working is only thinking about what we’re going to do for our kids.”