Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Report: Oklahoma Could Lose 16,000 Jobs in Federal Defense Cuts

Airman 1st Class Kenneth W. Norman / U.S. Air Force

Tech. Sgt. Walter L. Lightburn, 58th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, reads flight plans on a C-17 Globemaster III before departing Oklahoma's Altus Air Force Base in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

While Washington, D.C. lawmakers wrangle over taxes, federal budget cuts are looming.

If $1.2 trillion in scheduled cuts are triggered in January, Oklahoma could be in line to lose almost 16,000 defense-related jobs over the next 15 months, according to a report prepared for the Aerospace Industries Association.

Oklahoma could lose 7,967 jobs directly from Department of Defense cuts and 7,852 jobs from non DOD-related cuts, according to the report, which was prepared by researchers at George Mason University in Virginia.

The AIA, a trade association for aerospace and defense contractors, opposes the cuts.

Defense is big business in Oklahoma. About 5 percent of all wage and salary disbursements in 2010 are tied to Oklahoma’s three Air Force bases and two Army installations, according to the state Department of Commerce.

The Economic Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011

Source: Aerospace Industries Association

The Oklahoman‘s Chris Casteel in D.C. with the impact, according to the analysis:

The report estimates that Oklahoma’s economic activity would decline by $1.6 billion through next September and that $800 million in wages would be lost. The report measures direct cuts to employees and contractors and the ripple effect on the economy.


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