While highway construction and safety programs have not been affected by the shutdown of the federal government, investigations of the National Transportation Safety Board and economic indicators released by the government have been hampered.
All of NTSB’s highway crash investigators have been furloughed since the shutdown began Oct. 1, the agency told NBC News. Therefore, it was unable to investigate an Oct. 2 bus-and-truck crash in Tennessee that killed eight people and injured 14.
An NTSB spokeswoman told NBC said it was “highly likely” that the agency would have sent investigators to determine the cause of the crash, but none of them was working.
Agencies that usually issue economic indicators on a regular basis have been unable to do so. The Commerce Department did not issue a monthly construction spending report as scheduled Oct. 1 or a report on factory orders Oct. 3.
The Labor Department said it would not report monthly unemployment figures for September as scheduled Oct. 4. But it did report weekly unemployment claims, and the ADT Research Institute reported Oct. 2 that private-sector employers added 166,000 jobs in September.