Sequestration portends ominous future for some feds
The automatic budget cuts slated to kick in Jan. 2, 2013 could have a devastating impact on the job market in shedding more than 2 million jobs, many of which belong to key federal employees, new analysis shows.
"The results are bleak but clear-cut," said Stephen Fuller, professor and director for regional analysis at George Mason University, who conducted the research with Chmura Economics and Analytics on behalf of the Aerospace Industries Association.
The findings conclude 2.14 million U.S. jobs could be eliminated if the Budget Control Act's sequestration directive takes place and budget cuts of $1.2 trillion occur throughout the federal government. Fuller said the unemployment rate will rise above 9 percent and decrease projected economic growth in 2013 by two-thirds.
“An already weak economy will be undercut as the paychecks of thousands of workers across the economy will be affected from teachers, nurses, construction workers to key federal employees such as border patrol and FBI agents, food inspectors and others,” he said.
The spending cuts affecting defense and non-defense discretionary spending in the first year of implementation will trim down the nation's gross domestic product by $215 billion. Personal earnings of the workforce will decrease by nearly $110 billion, according to the analysis. California, Virginia and Texas are expected to see the largest potential job losses.
In responding to the bleak numbers in the report, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), said the analysis emphasizes sequestration “will also crush our economy, devastate our defense industrial base, and put tens of thousands of Americans out of work.”
“Republicans and Democrats must work together now to find alternate spending reductions that will not add a national security crisis to our fiscal crisis,” she said.
Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.