In Two Weeks the Costs of the Shutdown Will Surpass the Cost of Trump’s Wall

January 11, 2019, 9:06 PM UTC

If the government shutdown lasts for another two weeks, its cost the economy will have exceeded the $5.7 billion Trump wants for his border wall.

According to an estimate by S&P Global Ratings, the shutdown’s cost to the economy will top $6 billion in two weeks, exceeding the proposed cost of the wall. The same group says the current cost to the economy is $3.7 billion.

With the shutdown not expected to end on Friday, it will become the longest U.S. government shutdown in history. Nine federal departments and agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Securities and Exchange Commission have been closed since Dec. 22, when their funding ran out.

“We estimated that this shutdown could shave approximately $1.2 billion off real GDP in the quarter for each week that part of the government is closed. That may seem like pennies for the world’s biggest economy, but it means a lot to those workers trying to cover their household costs without their paychecks,” Beth Ann Bovino, S&P’s chief U.S. economist, said in a note to CNBC on Friday.

Many of those workers, who have now missed their first bi-weekly paycheck in the shutdown, are now filing for unemployment benefits. 380,000 federal employees are currently furloughed and 420,000 are working as “essential” employees without pay. Only the workers who are furloughed are eligible for unemployment benefits.