For the most part, Texas is doing OK during U.S. government shut down, but it still is hitting the state’s most vulnerable citizens the hardest, according to a recent report on the states most and least affected by the 2019 shut down.
The report, compiled by analysts at WalletHub, compared all 50 states plus the District of Columbia across five metrics, including each state’s share of federal jobs to the share of families receiving food stamps.
“When the government shuts down, certain federal employees work without pay or receive a furlough,” the report explained. “This includes over 41,000 law enforcement officers, 52,000 IRS workers and 96 percent of NASA employees. ‘Non-essential’ government services also remain inactive and certain benefits are liable to run out of funding.”
Among the interesting findings, so-called red states were less affected by the shutdown than blue states, ranking 26.83 and 24.81, respectively, on average, with the lower the rank indicating the greatest impact.
Washington D.C. has the highest share of families on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (or SNAP, or food stamps), at 20.95 percent. Wyoming has the fewest, at 6 percent.
Wisconsin has the lowest share of federal jobs at just over 1 percent. The average state has 2.61 percent.
Texas ranked 28th in the report, just about firmly in the middle of the pack. It accounted for 1.66 percent of federal jobs, ranking 32 of 51. When it comes to federal contract dollars per capita, Texas was at just shy of $1,707, which put the state at about 16th.
Texas was 17th in the country when it came to percentage of residents receiving SNAP benefits, at 14.46 percent. We’re 34th in terms of percentage of real estate as the gross state product, at 15.20 percent.
This is the 21st shut down since 1976, and now that we’re in the middle of day 19 of the current shut down, many are wondering if it will surpass the previous record 21 days during the Clinton administration.
We asked WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez some questions regarding how Texas will continue to fare during the shutdown.
CD: Even though Texas is about in the middle of the pack, what are some of the ways residents will be impacted by the shutdown as it continues?
Gonzalez: “Texas has the 16th highest amount of federal contract dollars per capita. This means that the longer the shutdown continues, the longer investments in things like infrastructure and real estate will be slowed, which would negatively affect the state’s residents.”
CD: While Texas doesn’t have as many Federal jobs, it looks like it ranks 17th in the nation in the number of people on federal assistance. What will the shutdown look like for them?
Gonzalez: “SNAP funding will continue during the partial shutdown. However, it is in danger of eventually running out, depending on how long the shutdown lasts, and that will affect the families currently receiving food stamps.”
CD: How will the shutdown affect Texas real estate?
Gonzalez: “The report shows 15.2% of the state’s Gross State Product comes from real estate. The shutdown is causing staffing shortages within the IRS, FHA and VA, which in turn affects mortgage processing. This will have a direct impact on Texas’ real estate market, as fewer transactions will occur.”