The 16-day government shutdown in October may have cost the United States 120,000 new private sector jobs in October, according to the White House's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).
The CEA's estimate was included in a new Office of Management and Budget report on the impact of the shutdown. The report points out that even independent analysts have estimated the shutdown will slow down economic growth in the fourth quarter of this year 0.2 to 0.6 percent -- that's $2 to $6 billion in lost output, or up to $24 billion on an annualized basis.
However, the report says that outside analysts may be underestimating the impact of the shutdown.
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"Most of these estimates of the shutdown's economic costs are model-based projections that only take into account how the shutdown affected the direct flow of spending into the economy," it says.
Other factors should be included, according to the White House, such as the cost of lower consumer confidence and the economic disruption caused by the shutdown of government activities that the private sector relies on.
Earlier Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy grew at a 2.8 percent annual rate -- faster than expected -- from July through September. The government shutdown, which lasted from Oct. 1 through the 16th, slowed down that growth.
The government shut down after congressional Republicans refused to pass a spending bill that would defund Obamacare -- a demand that Democrats refused to give in to. Republicans ultimately relented, one day before the Treasury Department risked defaulting on its loans, and agreed to pass a bill to reopen the government through Jan. 15 and extend the debt limit until Feb. 7.
The OMB report lays out the way the shutdown impacted the economy. For instance, fees went uncollected -- the National Park Service estimates it lost about $7 million in revenue, while the Smithsonian lost $4 million. Transportation and energy projects were delayed because permitting and environmental reviews were halted during the shutdown. The Small Business Administration was unable to process about 700 applications for $140 million in small business loans.
Federal employees who were furloughed were ultimately paid for the days they were sent home from work, which the OMB reports cost roughly $2 billion. During the 16-day shutdown, federal workers missed a total of 6.6 million work days.