Government Shutdown

Gov. Jared Polis says federal workers in Colorado who are required to work without pay through the government shutdown can now apply for unemployment.

The Denver Post reported Friday that Polis signed an emergency rule that makes all unpaid federal employees eligible, whether or not they are reporting to work.

Colorado is far from Washington, D.C., but impacts of the partial government shutdown are hitting the state's workforce.

More than 2,000 federal workers in Colorado have applied for unemployment since the shutdown began last month. Most are in Jefferson County, but a large concentration also work in Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties.

KUNC has been asking for your stories. This week we heard from three individuals in northern Colorado. These are their experiences, in their own words.

The long tentacles of the partial federal government shutdown are reaching especially deep into food and agriculture. Here’s an update on some of the impacts now four weeks into the longest shutdown in history.

As the standoff between President Trump and Congress continues over funding for Trump's proposed border wall, the partial shutdown of the federal government means workers will go weeks without a paycheck. That has some looking for temporary jobs to pay their bills.

In Boise, Idaho, Chris Kirk says he's worked for the federal government for 19 years. He administers contracts for the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. Forest Service spends on fighting wildfires. But these days he's on furlough and looking for extra income.

Denver International Airport
Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

More Americans are being impacted by what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. This week, the already stressful world of air travel is feeling the pinch as Transportation Security Administration workers call in sick.

But for now, things are still operating smoothly at Denver International Airport.

DIA spokeswoman Emily Williams said the average wait time at security checkpoints averaged about 10 minutes on Sunday.

People often confuse Brittany Sears with Britney Spears. But Sears is no multimillionaire pop star. In fact, money is tight for Sears, a federal correctional officer in Safford, Ariz.

Recent figures show federal workers in Jefferson County, near Denver, have made the most unemployment claims in Colorado since the government shutdown began more than three weeks ago.

The Colorado Sun reports data from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment show that about 23 percent of the 1,642 unemployment claims filed by federal workers in Colorado since the government shutdown began are from Jefferson County.

With the partial federal government shutdown dragging on, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says Congress should exempt tribes from feeling the effects. Historically, treaties with the U.S. government have guaranteed the Navajo and many other tribes federal financial assistance for health, education and economic development. So the shutdown is having an outsized impact.

As federal workers miss their first paychecks since the partial government shutdown began three weeks ago, frustration, anxiety and anger are rising.

Across the country this week, federal workers and industry leaders are starting to organize and rally to demand an end to the partial government shutdown.

"Trump, open the government — today," chanted the hundreds of federal employees and aviation industry executives gathered on the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., Thursday.

Mark Jarvis / Flickr Creative Commons

Thornton resident Jennifer Hubby is worried about paying her family's mortgage on time.

Her wife, a former Army medic, gets a monthly housing and education stipend from her GI Bill. Hubby said it's "very unclear" what's going to happen to that income as the shutdown — now on its 20th day — drags on.

Pages