Thousands of federal workers furloughed by the government shutdown have filed for Utah unemployment insurance, causing the jobless claims to spike to three-and-a-half times their normal rate, according to the state Department of Workforce Services.
Between Oct. 1-7, 6,959 claims were filed, said spokesman Nic Dunn. Of those, 4,606 were federal employees accounting for two-thirds of the total.
If Congress approves back pay for the those furloughed workers, they will be required to repay the jobless benefits, which generally amount to less than one-half of a worker's salary. If such repayment is a hardship, Dunn said, "we can work with people about a payment plan."