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Economist Calls Sequester Cuts ‘A Hiccup’ For La.

Jim Richardson (Photo by
Jim Richardson (Photo by

The sequester deadline has come and gone. $85 billion in federal spending cuts, including a loss of millions of dollars in federal funding for education and about 7,000 defense employees furloughed.

So what does that mean for federal workers in Louisiana? Less than two percent of the state’s 1.9 million workers are federal employees, about 35,000 federal employees according to LSU economist Jim Richardson. Richardson says Louisiana can survive this:

I think we will probably not really notice it very much, at first. We don’t have major federal establishments in this state…we don’t have a major headquarters.

Richardson says the impact as a whole will not be great, unless you are a federal employee that’s furloughed:

For an individual who is affected directly, it could be devastating. You go without pay for a week or whatever it happens to be. Then for them, it’s going to be devastating. For the entire community, it will be a hiccup, but it’s not going to be devastation.

Richardson did go on to say one of the more immediate impacts could be longer lines at the airport to get through security. He also says the sequester could slow down the recovery of the nation’s economy. He points out, though, a two percent cut in the federal budget is not a whole lot of money:

In total, $85 billion is a lot of money, but out of a $14, $15 trillion economy, it’s not that big.

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