By: Bill Cummings
HARTFORD — Connecticut’s defense industry could lose more than $906 million in federal spending this year because of budget cuts forced by sequestration, a state review predicts.
The number is lower than some earlier estimates, which placed the hit as high as $2.2 billion. Still, layoffs and furloughs in Connecticut’s $25 billion defense industry are expected.
OFA also estimated the reduction in federal aid to the state will be $52.6 million, down from a previous estimate of $58 million.
In a story published by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers on Sunday, a spokesman for the Kaman Corp., an aerospace contractor based in Bloomfield, said the company is expecting a $25 million cut in its defense allocation.
Other defense contractors — Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Electric Boat in Groton and Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford — also said they were bracing for cutbacks.
The White House has said at least 3,000 Connecticut civilian defense workers could be furloughed as the Department of Defense cuts $46 billion this year because of the ongoing budget stalemate in Washington.
A study by George Mason University predicted more than 36,000 job losses in Connecticut’s defense industry, creating a $4.2 billion drop in gross state product. The Center for Security Policy placed state defense cuts at $2.2 billion this year.
“Even if the defense cuts are half that it would be really bad,” said Pete Gioia, an economist with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. “You would get four-figure job losses.”
“Layoffs and furloughs are considerations. In addition, we would likely reduce overtime and planned hiring. We cannot quantify these actions at this point, but they could be significant,” said Kaman spokesman Eric Remington.
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