LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Thousands of furloughed federal workers returned to their jobs Thursday after a 16-day long government shutdown.

The Office of Personnel Management announced that workers should return to work on their next regularly scheduled work day.

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

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reported that non-profit charity organizations like the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society at Camp Pendleton offered zero percent loans to furloughed civilian employees who worked, but were not paid during the shutdown.

Lt. Ryan Finnegan of Camp Pendleton said it helped employees make ends meet.

“The people who were furloughed did not receive their paychecks as they would have normally on Oct. 1 and Oct. 15. However, they are scheduled to receive their back pay, as well as their regular paycheck on Nov. 1,” he said.

Nationwide, the impasse had shuttered monuments, libraries, national parks and museums.

At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold reported that about 75 government workers were back on the job.

“It’s been closed for almost three weeks and that’s tough,” said John Heubusch. “We’re in business to show Ronald Reagan’s legacy to the world and when the doors are closed, that’s very tough to do.”

The shutdown also mostly closed down NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department. Critical functions of government went on as usual, but the closure and potential default weighed on the economy and spooked the financial markets.

Standard & Poor’s estimated the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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