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North Dakota feels shutdown's effect

GRAND FORKS -- North Dakota is among states where the economic impact of the federal government shutdown is likely to be hardest, according to a new analysis.

WalletHub, a financial information firm, says North Dakota is the 17th most vulnerable state.

Part of the reason is the state is so reliant on Small Business Administration loans. On a per capita basis, North Dakota gets the most loans, the analysis says.

Minnesota, by contrast, is one of the least vulnerable states, ranking 48th.

The state is, however, ranked seventh for the most application for federal student aid per capita.

The most vulnerable states were, in this order, Virginia, Alaska and Alabama. The least vulnerable states were, in this order, Iowa, Indiana and New York.

WalletHub's analysis places the most weight on the number of federal workers per capita and federal contract dollars per capita. SBA loans were considered half as important as those two factors in calculating the vulnerability score.

Other factors had a quarter to a fifth as much weight, including student aid, real estate loans dependent on the Federal Housing Administration, Social Security payment per capita and the number of veterans per capita.

WalletHub's analysis does not provide data other than explaining what kind of data it uses.

A 2010 Gallup survey suggests why, despite the importance of the two large military bases in Grand Forks and Minot, North Dakota is not as vulnerable to federal furloughs: Only 4 percent of the state's population works for the federal government. Further, WalletHub's analysis appears not to factor in the exemption that allows active duty military members to continue to be paid.

For Minnesota, federal employees make up 2 percent of the work force.

The states with the most federal employees were much more dependent on the government. Of the Washington, D.C., workforce, 27 percent are federal employees. It's 14 percent in Maryland and 13 percent in Alaska, Virginia and Hawaii.