Sequestration Poised to Devastate Battleground States

With sequestration looming, large government contractors have threatened to issue mass notices of pending layoffs as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. While the act requires large employers to provide employees with 60 days advance notice of possible layoffs, the U.S. Labor Department issued a memo saying the layoff notices would not be required, due to the possibility that Congress could enact legislation to postpone the cuts.

If issued 60 days prior to the January 2, 2013 date upon which sequestration-related layoffs would begin, tens of thousands of workers would receive the layoff notices less than a week before the presidential election.

A new report warns that key battleground states of Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania would lose at least 365,000 jobs if sequestration budget cuts take effect as scheduled on January 2, 2013. Job losses in hotly contested Virginia would total 207,571, second only to California, where the report says 225,464 jobs would be lost.

According to George Mason University, full implementation of the cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011, “would severely impact the economy in 2013 with these losses reflected in reduced Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a broad based loss of jobs that could add an estimated 1.5 percentage points to the current U.S. unemployment rate.”

Among the 10 states expected to be hardest hit by sequestration are: California (225,464); Virginia (207,571); Texas (159,473); District of Columbia (127,407); Maryland (114,795); Florida (79,459); Pennsylvania (78,454); New York (70,010); Massachusetts (60,497) and Georgia (54,512).

Nationwide, the report says sequestration will reduce the nation’s GDP by $215 billion; decrease personal earnings by $109.4 billion and cost the U.S. economy a staggering 2.14 million jobs.