Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where are most federal employees? Not in Washington: Welcome to the top-heavy, bankrupt state

As the congressional debt-reduction supercommittee prepares to consider trillions of dollars in government spending cuts, advocates for federal workers are reminding lawmakers that cuts to the federal payroll could have adverse economic affects not just inside or near the Beltway, but in rural communities nationwide.

Many Americans — and the lawmakers who represent them — don’t realize that about 85 percent of federal employees live and work well beyond Washington, with many of them located in tiny counties where the federal government is the dominant employer.

Federally Employed Women, an advocacy group concerned about potential cuts to the federal workforce, is touting recent studies by Patchwork Nation, a group studying American demographic trends.

The group recently concluded that urban areas, or counties with large populations of highly educated residents, would certainly suffer from federal job losses, but not as much as rural counties that are home to military bases like Christian County, Ky. The county, home to the 101st Airborne Division’s headquarters at Fort Campbell, has more than 1,900 federal civilian jobs, and federal job cuts would only add to an unemployment rate hovering around 11 percent. more