Aerospace industry and unions stress importance to economy to thwart threatened budget cuts

The U.S aerospace and defense industry directly employed 1.05 million workers in 2010 who received $84.2 billion in wages and who paid $15.4 billion in U.S. federal income taxes and $1.9 billion in state individual income taxes, according to a study commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association.

The industry has an estimated indirect and induced employment of 2.36 jobs for every one directly employed, bringing the total beneficiaries to more than 3.53 million. General aviation aircraft manufacturing is included in the data, but not airport and flight operations.

Every state and the District of Columbia benefited from the industry. California shows the highest number of directly employed at 162,162 and Wyoming the least with 386. In addition, the industry is the largest net exporter.

With reductions in budgets for the Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the FAA, the Aerospace Industries Association and the Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers are using the report to, as they say, “educate the public and elected officials on the need for alternatives to budget sequestration.”

The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires Congress to identify $1 trillion in savings. Failure to do so by the end of the year will result in a $600 billion cut to the defense budget, on top of $487 billion in reductions already in the planning. In addition, cuts will impact FAA’s NextGen program.


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