Maryland could lose as many as 115,000 jobs next year when automatic federal budget cuts go into effect, according to a study commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).
Many of those losses could come from one of Howard County's largest employers -- the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.
“The Economic Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011” predicts that the automatic cuts, known as the “sequestration” mandate, could lead to more than 2 million job losses nationwide.
In a bleak introduction on Second to None, an AIA-funded website, the report’s author predicted that the national unemployment rate would rise to 9 percent.
Report author Stephen Fuller, an economist at George Mason University, predicted the result would be a move toward recession, and a two-thirds reduction in projected growth in 2013.
“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.”
Fuller’s analysis concluded that in Maryland about 39,000 of the 115,000 job losses would be in the defense sector. Overall, the state of Maryland could have the fifth highest number of losses nationwide.
California would lose the most, according to Fuller, with about 225,000 jobs in danger of being cut.
According to the state’s economic development arm, ChooseMaryland.org, the largest employer in Howard County is the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, which lists its clients as “Primarily Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, NASA, and NSA sponsors, as well as R&D.”
APL employs about 4,700 people, according to Choose Maryland, more than twice the number of the next biggest employer, Verizon Wireless, which employs a little more than 2,000 people.
Nationwide, according to Fuller, most of the jobs lost in both the defense and non-defense sector would be in office and administrative support. Nearly 13 percent of defense-sector losses and 24.5 percent of non-defense-sector jobs nationwide are in danger, he said.
“There are other consequences that will evolve and are already showing up.”
The full report is attached.