Federal employees have seen their pay rates frozen. Many have experienced furloughs without pay during the summer or during the current government shutdown or both. It’s no surprise that the majority of federal employees and their families doubt that lawmakers will take appropriate actions to avoid a second round of sequestration in the coming year.
In a late September First Command Financial Behaviors Index® survey taken immediately before the government shutdown, 90 percent of middle-class federal employee families (those with household incomes of at least $50,000) said they were not confident that lawmakers will be able to take appropriate action to avoid another sequester in the new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. This lack of confidence compares to 83 percent of military and 73 percent of general population families in the same income range.
Seven out of 10 federal workers report that government furloughs have negatively affected their families. When asked about the effects of the furloughs that took place before the government shutdown, respondents said they:
- Did not receive bonuses due to spending cuts (44 percent)
- Experienced hiring freezes (35 percent)
- Experienced unpaid furlough days (33 percent)
- Were restricted from working overtime due to cuts (30 percent)
Notably, roughly three out of five federal employee families say they feel extremely or very anxious about sequestration. They have been responding in a variety of ways, including:
- Cutting back on every day spending (51 percent)
- Increasing the amount they are saving (17 percent)
- Decreasing the aggressiveness of their investments (11 percent)