URS Idles 3,000 Employees Due to Shutdown

Government contractor URS (NYSE:URS), which provides engineering and construction services for industrial and federal products, blamed the government’s partial shutdown on Thursday for having to temporarily furlough 3,000 employees.

The workers were idled on Oct. 7, and URS, whose customers include the U.S. Defense, Homeland Security, State and Treasury departments, says even more employees could be affected if the shutdown persists.

"The government shutdown, the continuing effects of sequestration, and uncertainty about the federal budget are all having negative impacts on URS and many other government contractors," said URS Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hicks.

A large chunk of these people are unable to work because their government facility has been closed, while others work in certain areas where the government advised URS stop work or reduce staffing levels.

Government contractors, many still reeling from the sequestration, have been particularly hit from the partial shutdown, though some such as Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and United Tech (NYSE:UTX) reduced furlough plans as civilians began returning to the Department of Defense for work this week.

URS was cautious long before lawmakers failed to reach a budget solution by Oct. 1, having reduced the top end of its 2013 earnings range by 25 cents a share in August citing uncertainty over the federal budget.

Shares of San Francisco-based URS ticked slightly higher to $52.07 on Thursday. Despite ongoing turmoil in Washington, its shares have risen close to 33% year-to-date.