Federal workers back to work after 16-day shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers are returning to work across the country after 16 days off the job.

The Office of Personnel Management announced that workers should return to work on their next regularly scheduled work day, noting that is Thursday for most workers. The workers have been furloughed since the partial government shutdown began Oct. 1.

The office is encouraging agencies to be flexible for a smooth transition by allowing telework and excused absences in some cases.

The workers presence will be felt on the roads and rails in the Washington region, where commutes have been less crowded over the past two weeks. Metro reported a 20 percent drop in ridership when the shutdown began and has said it lost a few hundred thousand dollars each day.

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