Wednesday, January 22, 2014

F-35 jobs overstated?

Lockheed Martin's estimate that the F-35 program supports 125,000 jobs in the United States is "greatly exaggerated." That's according to a new think tank report issued Wednesday by the non-profit Center for International Policy. In the report, William Hartung, a longtime critic of the program, said standard estimating procedures would put the number of jobs closer to 50,000 to 60,000. Lockheed defended its estimate, which is based on 32,500 direct jobs and adds 92,500 indirect jobs. The company said it expected the number of jobs would grow as production increased. The F-35 is a frequent target in military budget cut drills, but top U.S. officials have said current funding levels are important to preserve economies of scale aimed at lowering the plane's cost over time.  (Sources: Multiple, including Reuters, Bloomberg, 01/22/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.