Well-known economist backs off dire prediction about sequestration

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The economy in the D.C. metro region may be more sequestration-proof than originally predicted.

Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, says the region’s economy is still growing, housing prices are up and the unemployment rate is still low.

Fuller says the full impact of furloughs and layoffs from sequestration is being phased in and that is softening the blow to the region’s economy.

“The economy will be generating jobs fast enough by the time we start seeing some job losses from sequestration,” he says.

Late last year Fuller had predicted that Virginia, Maryland and D.C. would be hit hard by sequestration.

“The impacts coming from sequestration, which are going to be real, will be spread out over a longer period,” he told WTOP.

Fuller says Virginia may still lose more than 154,000 jobs, most of those are defense-related, with Maryland losing more than 84,000 and D.C. about 94,000.

But those numbers are way down from the job losses predicted late last year.

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