The White House has detailed some state by state impacts of the sequester, which is of course scheduled to kick in on March 1. You can view the reports for all the states or a more detailed report for Georgia (both links via The Washington Post).
A few highlights/lowlights among cuts in Georgia:
Georgia will lose approximately $28.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 390 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 54,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 80 fewer schools would receive funding. In addition, Georgia will lose approximately $17.5 million in funds for about 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities. […]
Around 2,490 fewer low income students in Georgia would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 890 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college. […]
In Georgia, approximately 37,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $190.1 million in total. Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $233 million in Georgia. Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Georgia would be cut by about $5 million. […]
Those cuts to defense spending — the furloughs of civilian government employees and the inevitable cuts to private contractors — are likely to have their biggest impacts in the cities around Georgia’s large army bases.
A few days ago, a Wells Fargo study stated this likelihood plainly:
Smaller towns that host large military bases are probably the most vulnerable areas in the sequestration battle because so much of their economic wellbeing is tied to the continued flow of defense dollars. Georgia is home to three such areas: Columbus, Warner Robbins [sic] and Hinesville.
Those three metro areas are already in pretty poor shape in terms of job creation. While the state as a whole has experienced decent job growth over the past year (1.8 percent overall, 2.5 percent for the private sector), Hinesville has had zero job growth, Warner Robins has lost 300 jobs, and Columbus has lost 1,400.
I posted some other data and links about the likely impact on Georgia a few days ago on my site, and I’m sure we’ll see more reports and predictions this coming week.
If the sequester goes into effect, it seems likely that the nation could slip into recession — that warning is not simply a political scare tactic. But we’re likely to see highly localized effects. Some larger metro areas with less reliance on discretionary federal spending might sustain their current recoveries, but look for real trouble in cities where growth had been fueled by federal spending on defense, the national park system, and the like.