Sequestration Budget Cuts Data: Which PA Counties Have the Most Federal Employees?
Nearly 4,000 federal employees live in Butler County. How will sequestration affect them—and the economy to which they contribute?
Butler County is home to nearly 4,000 federal employees and retirees who contribute to its economy and potentially could be affected if sequestration budget cuts are enacted today.
The numbers shown here reflect the number of federal employees in each Pennsylvania by county in 2012, according to the latest figures from Eye on Washington, a DC-based lobbying firm that tracks federal employment.
It compiles the data from the Office of Personnel Management, Federal Employment Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Of the 3,916 federal employees and retirees who live in Butler County, the greatest number—1,568—are retirees, according to the data. Veterans Affairs employs 601 county residents, and Social Security offices employ 102 others.
Others work for the Defense, Human Services Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, Commerce, Labor, Energy and other departments.
While the cuts will affect veterans programs, they are not specifically affecting Veterans Affairs or its employees.
The 286 U.S. Postal Service employees in Butler County wlll not be affected by sequestration cuts because the postal service receives no tax dollars in its operations.
While much has been written on how the current sequestration battle in Washington could affect the national economy, these numbers are meant to offer a sense of the sequestration and its potential effect at the local level.
No one knows for certain what the sequestration cuts, some $85 billion, will mean exactly.
Even if the federal cuts are enacted today, the full effects would not be felt immediately.The government is required to alert impacted agencies of what cuts are to be made and what workers are to be furloughed.
It should be noted, however, that even the suggestion of cuts and the notification process itself could be felt in some community economies. Uncertainty for federal workers means they are likely to tighten their belts until they see what the cuts look like – and how long they last.
It means those workers will likely spend less money at local shops and restaurants.
How Will the Sequestration Affect Cranberry?
Locally, Cranberry manager Jerry Andree noted the township does not receive any funds directly from the federal government, nor any pass through funds from the state.
Still he notes that such a drastic cut in federal spending will have a negative effect on the economy—and therefore also on local government.
"As we all know, when the economy tanks, government at all levels feels the effect of less tax revenue, as demonstrated by the huge deficits the state and federal government has occurred as a result of a poor economy," he said.
In some communities with only a handful of federal workers, the impact may be small. But, as these figures show, in other counties where federal employees numbers in the thousands, the sequestration could become a more significant pain—particularly if it drags on for weeks or months.
Also this week, a report released by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators said Robert Morris University could lose about $28,000 of its tentative federal allocation for work study grants in the 2013-14 school year.
Cranberry Editor Jessica Sinichak contributed to this article.
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