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Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research, has done a study showing jobs growth in sectors most closely tied to federal spending is lagging. The villain is sequestration. The five private sectors most reliant on federal spending are ship and boat building, aerospace, research and development, electronic instruments manufacturing (including test and navigation equipment used by the military), and facilities support services. These industries represent 87,000 payroll jobs or 8.2% of private sector employment in the county.

Since the beginning of 2011, employment in these industries has been flat while the rest of the economy has seen an employment increase of more than 7%, says Cunningham. Also, more than half of federal employees in the county are now furloughed one day a week until the end of the fiscal year. This will hurt consumer spending, particularly the retail sector, says Cunningham.

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