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Robert Trigaux

Florida could lose 39,200 defense jobs if super committee fails to avoid automatic spending cuts




A new report from defense industry lobbyists warn federal spending cuts triggered automatically would cause major job cuts in key states, including Florida.

Wake up and good morning. The defense and aerospace industries are warning that the United States will lose 1 million jobs and $59.4 billion in wages and salaries tied to the their businesses if Congress’ supercommittee fails and automatic cuts are imposed. Of those cuts, 39,200 jobs are likely to be lost in Florida -- starting in 2013. That amounts to lost earnings in Florida of $2.3 billion and a decline in the gross state product (GSP) of $3.4 billion. 

Those ugly figures come from a report prepared for the Aerospace Industries Association by Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a data analysis firm based in Moscow, Idaho. See the news announcement of this "Second To None" report on this video. Here's the report in greater detail.

The congressional supercommittee in question, of course, is the dreaded Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a joint select committee (no one from Florida is on it) of the U.S. created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 this past summer. The act was intended to prevent the rapid process of sovereign default that would have resulted from the 2011 U.S. debt-ceiling crisis. It was created amid frustration over prolonged partisan political gridlock over how best to fix the stalled U.S. economy and reduce the federal deficit.

The supercommittee, suffering its own gridlock, is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts by Thanksgiving. About half or $600  billion would be defense related cuts. Good luck with that.

And if they don't do as they are asked? Automatic cuts of $1.2 trillion will be triggered. That will happen whether the committee itself fails to agree on a package or the full Congress fails to pass it. The triggered spending cuts would be split between the national security and domestic arenas.

Hence the threatened loss in Florida of 39,200 defense related jobs, most of them paying well above state average.

Read more from Bloomberg news and coverage in The Hill.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times


[Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 7:37am]


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