According to Poll of Federal Employees, Government Contractors to Feel Impact on Payment, Project Launches, Timelines and Scopes

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New Market Connections Study Shows Partnerships Between Public and Private Sectors at Risk

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“Federal workers, even those still working, understand the impact the shutdown is having on contractors,” said Market Connections President, Aaron Heffron.

Federal employees believe that the current shutdown will leave contractors and partners short on payment and late on project launches, according to recent PulsePoll™ by Market Connections, Inc.

More than four out of ten civilian employees believe that the two largest areas of impact for government contractors include not being paid for the time during the shutdown, and the inability to start projects on time.

“Agencies rely on the partnership of government contractors to help them with the day-to-day execution of mission goals,” said Market Connections President, Aaron Heffron. “Federal workers, even those still working, understand the impact the shutdown is having on contractors. They sit next to these colleagues daily and realize that their ability to do their jobs will be impacted due to the shortened timelines, budgets and resources the shutdown creates.”

Here are other key findings from this study:

  • Partnerships between public and private sectors are at risk. More than one-quarter of federal employees believe that contractors will be asked to do more in less time, and the scope of services delivered by contractors will be reduced as an impact of the shutdown. One-quarter of federal employees being affected by the shutdown also feel that they are being negatively impacted due to contractors not working.
  • Small government contractors will feel the largest impact during the shutdown. While large contractors will have to shift resources and move personnel from one agency to another, hoping to bide their time, small contractors do not have the same luxury, according to two-thirds of the respondents. One respondent noted, “There is no way to recoup lost opportunities. We will lose some small contractors who are unable to create enough capital to stay in business.”
  • Replacing retiring workers will be even more difficult. Future recruitment and retention is another major effect the shutdown could have on agencies in both the short and long term. Between the aging of the federal workforce, increasing momentum of retirements, and the draw for employees to move to the private sector, the shutdown may add to existing challenges in replacing outgoing or soon to be outgoing federal workers with qualified candidates, thereby placing the mission at risk.
  • Impact on morale and recruitment: Two of the top three factors the shutdown is seen as impacting the most are employee morale (83 percent) and future recruitment, and hiring of employees by federal agencies (70 percent). One respondent summed this concern up, “This shutdown has hurt morale so badly with the federal workers that this time I think there is no comeback. A lot of federal workers will now retire and others will look for a new position in another federal agency that is not affected by the shutdown.”
  • The future is not looking any better. An overwhelming number of federal employees have been through a shutdown before (94 percent) and don’t believe the coming year will get any better. Approximately three-quarters find this shutdown more concerning than past ones (72 percent) while virtually the same number anticipate that 2020 will bring on another shutdown.

Other highlights from the PulsePoll™:

  • Seven out of ten (70 percent) believe the shutdown will impact the execution and start-up of new projects.
  • Over half (55 percent) of government employees feel the shutdown will impact their ability to reach their agency goals for the year.

Market Connections conducted this PulsePoll™ from January 10-14, 2019. It represents the views of 200 federal civilian and independent agency workers nationwide. Click here to read the full study.

About Market Connections
Market Connections delivers actionable intelligence and insights that enable improved business performance and positioning for leading businesses, government agencies and trade associations. The custom market research firm is a sought-after authority on preferences, perceptions and trends among government executives and the contractors who serve them, offering deep domain expertise in information technology and telecommunications; healthcare; and education. Market Connections also provides the tools for organizations to expand thought-leadership in their respective markets and is known for its annual Federal Media and Marketing Study, the only comprehensive survey of the media habits of federal decision-makers, as well as the Government Contractor Study and the Federal Content Marketing Review. For more information, please visit:

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Matthew Langan
L&R Communications
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