|Federal workers scratching for tax dollars|
Yesterday, however, the Post admitted that perhaps the threat of the sequestration to the regions economy and had been over sold, and that things were chugging along at near normal.
In the months since the automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester took effect, the Washington area has added 40,000 jobs. Income-tax receipts have surged in Virginia, beating expectations. Few government contractors have laid off workers.Of course, then they had to go out and find a bunch of possible indicators that the sequester was taking us to hell in a hand basket, but then what else could you expect; an admission that maybe leaving money in the private sector was actually a good thing in the long run?
It’s too early to be certain, but initial indications are that the damage from the sequester has been modest and slow to develop.
Labor Department statistics released Wednesday showed that the area’s unemployment rate held steady at a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent in April, the same as in March. The pace of job growth from January to April was only slightly slower this year than last year. Large government contractors are reporting relatively modest revenue hits and few layoffs due to reduced contracts.
“The surprise is that the economy is as good as it is,” said Stephen S. Fuller, the economist who directs the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. “We’ve done better than I expected.” In January, Fuller predicted that the sequester, if enacted, would be an “end-of-the-world kind of hit” to the regional economy. He wrote an analysis of the cuts in March concluding they would kill more than 325,000 jobs in Virginia, the District and Maryland combined.
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