Nearly 100,000 Workers Depend on the F-22? Not Really

23.02.09

Categorie: Industry, Politics |

“More than 95,000 American jobs” depend on continued production of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter, according to the apparently industry-funded advocacy group Preserve Raptor Jobs.

In this age of credit freezes and layoffs, that’s a compelling reason to continue buying the $140-million jets. Consider it “economic stimulus,” no?

Problem is, that 95,000 number counts indirect employment at firms for whom the F-22 program is just one of many clients. And it also counts Lockheed assembly workers who are in high demand for other aviation projects. In fact, ending Raptor production today might not result in a single unemployed aerospace worker.

Consider Lockheed’s plant in Meridian, Mississippi:

“As far as the facility here in Meridian is concerned, there are only about 20 workers devoted to the manufacturing of the tail assembly on the Raptor,” [plant manager Joe] Mercado added. “That is out of a total work force of almost 200 people. I don’t mean to lessen the importance their jobs mean to the families of those 20 people. It is very possible we could transition those workers to the C-130 product line, which is the major contract we have. But would the loss of the Raptor contract cripple us here in Meridian? No.”

It’s the same across the U.S. aerospace industry. A year ago the industry was worried about huge labor shortages. Shutting down the Raptor line would see thousands of workers snapped up for active production lines churning out F-16s, F-35s, C-130s and modernized C-5s for Lockheed, not to mention the prospect that industry rivals Boeing and Northrop might lure Lockheed workers for their own active production lines for the F-15, F/A-18 and others.

Even in the New Depression, the U.S. has the world’s biggest and most diverse aerospace industry. Trimming a few dozen aircraft from one production line, and shuttering that line a few years early, will not put nearly 100,000 people out of work.

There are good reasons to keep buying F-22s, but jobs is not one of them.

(Photo: me)

Related:
Only 60 More Raptors? Everybody Panic!
Russian Super-Fighter Not So Scary
In 2014, the F-35 Might Cost More than the F-22
600 F-22s? Hilarious
F-35 jumps the shark
Raptors in Japan
New Russian fighter to challenge F-35
The amazing shrinking air force

|

27 Responses to “Nearly 100,000 Workers Depend on the F-22? Not Really”

  1. James says:

    That sounds suspiciously like common sense. You are clearly out of touch with the realities of “defense” procurement.

  2. Sandy says:

    Wonder if the job loss numbers for cutting production of American cars are similarly inflated. I mean, they wouldn’t have an incentive to blow up their importance to the economy just so they keep getting bailout stimulus money, would they?

  3. [...] Related: Nearly 100,000 Jobs Depend on the F-22? Not Really Only 60 More Raptors? Everybody Panic! Russian Super-Fighter Not So Scary In 2014, the F-35 Might Cost More than the F-22 600 F-22s? Hilarious F-35 jumps the shark Raptors in Japan New Russian fighter to challenge F-35 The amazing shrinking air force 1 Comment so far Leave a comment [...]

  4. [...] Would shutting down the Raptor really put 95000 people out of work? No. David Axe has the data: Problem is, that 95,000 number counts indirect employment at firms for whom the F-22 program is just one of many clients. And it also counts Lockheed assembly workers who are in high demand for other aviation projects. In fact, ending Raptor production today might not result in a single unemployed aerospace worker. [...]

  5. [...] Moving on to other bad arguments for the F-22, via Rob Farley, David Axe confronts the claim that “more than 95,000 American jobs” depend on the Raptor. Axe points out that this number “counts indirect employment at firms for whom the F-22 program is just one of many clients.” And it also counts Lockheed assembly workers who are in high demand for other aviation projects. In fact, ending Raptor production today might not result in a single unemployed aerospace worker. […] [...]

  6. Royce says:

    “A year ago the industry was worried about huge labor shortages.”

    Sure, and a year ago our banking system wasn’t insolvent. Times change. Aerospace manufacturers are already in the process of cutting jobs because they expect lower production of civil aircraft in the years ahead. That’s why they’re looking to military spending during an expected rough patch in what is a highly cyclical civil aircraft market.

  7. [...] Related: A U.S. Navy F-22? Don’t Hold Your Breath Nearly 100,000 Jobs Depend on the F-22? Not Really Only 60 More Raptors? Everybody Panic! Russian Super-Fighter Not So Scary In 2014, the F-35 Might Cost More than the F-22 600 F-22s? Hilarious F-35 jumps the shark Raptors in Japan New Russian fighter to challenge F-35 The amazing shrinking air force No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  8. Tony says:

    The general public does not understand what the F-22 does and it’s mission. The aircraft does SO Much more than air superiority. This aircraft is much more than that. Please don’t have the view that it just a Stealth Aircraft. It does much more than that. It’s like trying to compare a portable 8 track tape player to a Modern Ipod touch. I can’t go into detail with what it does; however after working on the development on it, Rest assured that it is the most advanced flying aircraft now and will be for at least the next 30 plus years. I can assure you that it is very important to the defensive protective net that safeguards America. 100,000 jobs? absolutly The F22 and all of it’s parts are made in America, from the micro chips to the tires.

  9. David Axe says:

    Tony,

    We know all that. Yes, the F-22 is a multi-role aircraft, and the most sophisticated one in the world, by far. But even Lockheed admits that just 25,000 jobs directly depend on F-22 production. The other 70,000+ are INDIRECT, and therefore would not necessarily be lost if and when the F-22 line shutters. Also, Lockheed has said that many F-22 workers will transition to the F-35 line, as the F-22 will ramp down as the F-35 ramps up. Bottom line is that there’s a lot of politicking going on over Raptor jobs.

  10. [...] Related: Boeing Unveils New “Stealthy” F-15 Getting the Most from Your New F-22 F-22s to Darfur? Not so Fast … Advocating a Systemic View of Air Superiority More fighter-jet hyperventilating Growler Chomps on Raptor A U.S. Navy F-22? Don’t Hold Your Breath Nearly 100,000 Jobs Depend on the F-22? Not Really Only 60 More Raptors? Everybody Panic! Russian Super-Fighter Not So Scary In 2014, the F-35 Might Cost More than the F-22 600 F-22s? Hilarious F-35 jumps the shark Raptors in Japan New Russian fighter to challenge F-35 The amazing shrinking air force 4 Comments so far Leave a comment [...]

  11. [...] But halting further production of the F-22 might not actually cause massive job losses. The 95,000 jobs cited by Lockheed include “indirect employment at firms for whom the F-22 is just one of many clients,” writes blogger David Axe. “And [the number] also counts Lockheed assembly workers who are in high demand for other aviation projects.” Axe quoted a Lockheed Martin plant manager in Meridian, Mississippi: “As far as the facility here in Meridian is concerned, there are only about 20 workers devoted to the manufacturing of the tail assembly on the Raptor,” [Joe] Mercado added. “That is out of a total work force of almost 200 people. I don’t mean to lessen the importance their jobs mean to the families of those 20 people. It is very possible we could transition those workers to the C-130 product line, which is the major contract we have. But would the loss of the Raptor contract cripple us here in Meridian? No.” [...]

  12. [...] Military correspondent David Axe has pointed out that it’s possible very few workers will lose their jobs because of Gates’s announcement. In fact, thousands of workers will likely be “snapped up for active production lines churning out F-16s, F-35s, C-130s and modernized C-5s for Lockheed, not to mention the prospect that industry rivals Boeing and Northrop might lure Lockheed workers for their own active production lines for the F-15, F/A-18 and others.” [...]

  13. [...] Indeed, conservatives declare that canceling the F-22 would result in thousands of lost jobs. However, as Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb pointed out on the call, the administration has also ramped up production of the F-35, which is produced at many of the same facilities — and by the same workers — as the F-22. [...]

  14. [...] Okay, so that sounds a little confusing. Allow me to clarify. There are broad similarities between building an F-22 and an F-35 — and between building fighters and other types of combat planes, as well. Ending the F-22 does not mean firing aerospace workers, as the ramp-up in F-35 production will more than compensate. Today the F-22 sustains 25,000 “direct” jobs, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In its final year, 2011, the Raptor will employ 13,000. This year, the F-35 provides 38,000 direct jobs. In 2011, that number will climb to 82,000. The transition from F-22 to F-35 will actually mean an extra 32,000 jobs two years from now. [...]

  15. [...] “Military correspondent David Axe has pointed out that it’s possible very few workers will lose their jobs because of Gates’s announcement. In fact, thousands of workers will likely be ’snapped up for active production lines churning out F-16s, F-35s, C-130s and modernized C-5s for Lockheed, not to mention the prospect that industry rivals Boeing and Northrop might lure Lockheed workers for their own active production lines for the F-15, F/A-18 and others.’” [...]

  16. [...] of the US aerospace workforce. Besides – wink, wink – those 100,000 aerospace workers are already busy building the last 40 [...]

  17. [...] counts indirect employment at firms for whom the F-22 program is just one of many clients,” War Is Boring countered. “And it also counts Lockheed assembly workers who are in high demand for other aviation [...]

  18. [...] with some evidence that their estimates have been overblown. Specifically, as journalist David Axe has pointed out, Lockheed arrived at its inflated figure of more than 95,000 American jobs being lost if F-22 [...]

  19. [...] of the US aerospace workforce. Besides – wink, wink – those 100,000 aerospace workers are already busy building the last 40 F-22s.) The big question, of course, is which side is this group on? The web [...]

  20. Philipp says:

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information.
    I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Beats Mixr says:

    Wonderful site you have here but I was curious if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics discussed here?

    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can
    get feed-back from other experienced individuals that share
    the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me
    know. Thank you!

  22. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to
    browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the
    info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, very good blog!

  23. […] F-22 and F-35 aren’t already compatible. Both are Lockheed designs. Both are assembled by the same workers in some of the same factories. They even look alike, although the F-22 is bigger and has two […]

  24. rr32.Com says:

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance”
    between usability and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a superb
    job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely quick
    for me on Opera. Excellent Blog!

  25. Wonderful website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any
    forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?

    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get feedback from other experienced
    individuals that share the same interest.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Thank you!

  26. Hello mates, how is everything, and what you would like to say concerning this post, in my view its actually remarkable in support of me.

  27. Cryosurgery will take a procedure the location where younger wart
    is without a doubt freezing peas by the strategy.
    An sedation is often simply secondhand and you also might need a great deal
    more trips suitable for completer extraction inside exactly the same wart.

Leave a Reply