Oct 10 Engineering firm URS Corp and
British defense contractor BAE Systems added a further
4,200 to the number of workers who have been temporarily laid
off due to the U.S. government shutdown.
URS, which builds energy and other industrial projects, has
furloughed about 3,000 workers, while BAE Systems said about
1,200 employees from its intelligence & security and support
business had been told not to report to work for now.
Companies have announced at least 6,600 workers have been
put on furlough due to the 10-day shutdown.
The shutdown was triggered after Congress failed to reach an
agreement on funding for the new fiscal year due to a standoff
over healthcare reforms.
A prolonged budget impasse could have seriously damaging
consequences for the U.S. and global economies, with retailers,
healthcare companies and weapons makers warning of project
delays, employee furloughs and other impacts.
U.S. jobless claims touched a six-month high
last week, partly due to the shutdown.
The negotiations over the budget are complicated by
simultaneous talks to raise the debt ceiling to stave off a
possible default after Oct. 17.
The furloughs at URS and other companies such as weapons
maker Lockheed Martin Corp include employees working at
government facilities that have been closed or those laid off
after their employer received a stop-work order or directions to
"The government shutdown, the continuing effects of
sequestration, and uncertainty about the federal budget are all
having negative impacts on URS and many other government
contractors," said URS CFO H. Thomas Hicks.
URS counts the U.S. departments of defense, homeland
security, state and treasury as its customers.
URS and Lockheed also warned of an increase in number of
employee furloughs if the shutdown continued.
A few defense contractors, including United Technologies
Corp and Lockheed, withdrew or scaled back plans to
furlough workers after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recalled
most civilian defense employees.