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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

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