New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and nearly 500 city staffers will be furloughed for one week to help the city deal with a $9 billion revenue shortfall due to the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown.

The week-long furlough will save the city $860,000. 

In his announcement on Wednesday, the mayor said no pay cuts are planned at this time, but he admitted the city will be facing a “horrible budget situation” for years, and that it was heightened by the economic shutdown in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to be in a horrible budget situation for years, so this borrowing capacity is to give us a fallback no matter what happens up ahead,” he said during the press briefing.

The furlough, which will take place for a week at some stage between October and March of next year, will affect 495 employees, including the entire mayor’s office. De Blasio pulls in an annual salary of $258,541 and will lose around $5,000 in earnings from the break in work.

The mayor told reporters that the current fiscal budget for the city is “$7 billion less” than what was projected in February. He blamed the furlough on the federal government not providing stimulus funds to help with the shortfall.

“I couldn’t have imagined no action by Washington, D.C., up until this point,” he said. “I thought it would be an article of faith that there would be a federal stimulus, but there hasn’t been, and I see no indication that there will be for the remainder of this year.”

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