Sequestration could hit Washington area with recession, economist warns

fstockfoto/Shutterstock.com

The Washington metropolitan area could see a devastating recession from federal cuts associated with sequestration, an economist is warning.

Sequestration -- across-the-board cuts to the federal budget that will take effect in January if lawmakers can’t agree on an alternative -- would result in major job cuts in Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland, according to Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, who spoke to WTOP.com.

The Washington region receives 20 percent of federal payroll and procurement money, WTOP reported, and sequestration job losses in the area could affect 65,000 federal workers and 96,000 contractors.

"It's something you don't even want to draw a picture of because it's too scary," Fuller told WTOP.

He wrote about the impact that defense cuts would have in a paper released in July by the Center for Regional Analysis. The study was commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group for military contractors.

Fuller’s analysis has come under some criticism from other defense experts. Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, wrote that the defense industry may have been overstating its job losses. Another report released by the Project on Government Oversight challenged the notion that the size of the contractor workforce is linked to the federal budget, noting defense contractors had been laying off workers during boom periods.

“There’s ample evidence to say there is an overreaction to what this will mean in terms of jobs for government contractors,” Ben Freeman, a researcher at POGO, told Government Executive earlier this month.

Still, contractors are planning for the worst. A spokesman for Raytheon Co. told Government Executive that while they did not know the exact number of cuts from sequestration, the company will follow the federal government’s lead. 

(Image via fstockfoto/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.