U.S. Defense Cuts May Hit 40,000 in Bay State
Super job losses
By Brendan Lynch
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The failure of the congressional supercommittee to strike a deal on the national debt could cost the Bay State about 40,000 defense industry jobs, $2.3 billion in lost earnings and $3.3 billion in decreased gross state product, according to an expert analysis.
The job losses would be the result of $600 billion in automatic “sequestration” cuts, scheduled for 2013 and triggered by the supercommittee’s failure.
“It’s illustrative of the state’s exposure to the industry,” said George Mason University professor Stephen Fuller, who performed the analysis. “It gives you something to think about.”
Fuller projects 38,200 defense industry jobs would be at risk in Massachusetts based on U.S. Department of Defense spending in the Bay State in 2010.
Chris Anderson, president of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, said it’s too early to know specifically where the cuts would hit. But both he and Fuller said yesterday they doubt the “automatic” cuts will be the final outcome.
“The real focus clearly should be on finding a balanced and substantive package Congress can get behind to replace the sequestration cuts,” Anderson said.
Fuller said the automatic defense cuts, which were meant to force a supercommittee deal, would wipe out 25 percent of the country’s gross domestic product growth annually.
“Defense spending will decline, and there will be slower growth,” he said. “The commonwealth of Massachusetts just won’t grow as fast as if federal spending had remained unchecked.”