“There can be some real impact throughout the national economy and here locally,” said Robert Kleinhenz, PhD, Chief Economomist at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation’s Kyser Center.
So concerned is the Economic Development Corporation, it formed an action group called the L.A. Jobs Defense Council to spread the word and pressure Congress to find a way to avoid plunging over the fiscal cliff.
Worst case scenario, Kleinhenz foresees businesses closing and California losing as many as 225,000 jobs, and $22-billion in economic activity.
The biggest impact would be on the defense industry, particularly aerospace. It has not been as large a component of the Southland economy since the end of the Cold War two decades ago. But Kleinhenz emphasizes it remains significant and an economic bedrock in areas including the South Bay and Antelope Valley.
The office of Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, produced a video that lays out anticipation of a devestating effect on the local economy.
One of the companies McKeon’s video highlighted is Aerowire Technical Services in Lancaster. Veteran aerospace engineer Velma Searcy founded the small business in 2010 to supply wiring harnesses for aviation.
Searcy now has 12 employees and hopes to continue expanding. But the prospect of sequestration has clouded the future, putting new projects on hold. “If it happens, I might not be here next year. So it’s just a scary thing right now,” Searcy told KPCC’s Brian Watt.