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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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