TSA absences rise as shutdown continues

FILE PHOTO: A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent screens passengers at a security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport amid the partial federal government shutdown, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Transportation Security Administration said Monday that unscheduled absences among the more than 50,000 U.S. airport security officers rose to 10 percent on Sunday as the government shutdown continues.

The agency said the rate was more than three times the 3.1 percent absence rate on the same day last year. The agency said that, despite the absences, nearly all 1.78 million passengers screened Sunday faced normal security waits of 30 minutes or less.

The agency said many employees, who are not being paid because of the shutdown, are not reporting to work because of financial hardships.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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