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AIA's President and CEO, Marion C. Blakey, joined by New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, released a new study July 17 demonstrating the significant impacts sequestration will have on American workers and the economy. The report, by economist Dr. Stephen Fuller of George Mason University, updated previous projections of defense-dependent job losses and provides a comprehensive analysis of anticipated job losses in defense and other non-defense sectors of the economy.
According to Dr. Fuller, a staggering 2.14 million American jobs could be lost in 2013 if an alternative to sequestration is not implemented before it is automatically triggered on January 2, 2013. The analysis concludes that the automatic spending cuts mandated in the Budget Control Act of 2011 affecting defense and non-defense discretionary spending in just the first year of implementation will reduce the nation’s GDP by $215 billion and decrease personal earnings of the workforce by $109.4 billion.
“The results are bleak but clear-cut,” said Fuller. “The unemployment rate will climb above 9 percent, pushing the economy toward recession and reducing projected 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.”
Senator Ayotte, a Republican, and Senator Shaheen, a Democrat, both stressed their desire for a bi-partisan effort to reverse the sequester. “Republicans and Democrats must work together now to find alternate spending reductions that will not add a national security crisis to our fiscal crisis,” said Senator Ayotte.
Senator Shaheen similarly commented, “We should continue to work on a comprehensive solution that puts everything on the table. It’s the right thing to do for our national security, for our economy and for our people.”
The local impacts of sequestration were emphasized by the two mayors in attendance. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton expressed his concern for Arizona and urged Congress to propose a solution to protect American jobs. “The report's findings are proof that Arizona faces serious job loss - nearly 50,000 high-wage jobs - at the expense of Congress's failure to deal with looming, indiscriminate cuts to our aerospace and defense industries,” said Stanton. “We can’t afford to take that kind of a hit.”
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders was of a like mind, further expressing the need for a solution, “Arbitrary, politically motivated cuts to the national defense budget are the last thing our city needs right now, given that a quarter of all jobs in this region are tied to the defense industry.”
For additional information and to access the press kit, including the full report, state-by-state impact numbers, presentation slide show, panelist bios, live recording of the event and press release, click here.
AIA Source: ashley.gudzak[at]aia-aerospace.org