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Is SoCal Aerospace Crashing -- Again?


In an ominous sign that Southern California's aerospace industry might be repeating the massive downsizing of the 1990s, Northrop Grumman today announced 750 layoffs, to occur within the next few months. According to the Daily Breeze, most of the terminations are expected to fall at the company's El Segundo, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach facilities, which collectively employ almost 13,000 people.

Although the layoffs will take place in Northrop's business sectors, and the company continues to fill 850 technical positions, the move could presage the beginning of a new phase-out of aerospace in the Southland. Once a dominate force in L.A. County's economy, aerospace began a dramatic decline in the 1990s, which saw the closing or downsizing of plants belonging to Boeing, Lockheed and McDonald-Douglas. As the American economy continues to contract while, at the same time, the Obama administration seeks to cut the national debt, military expenditures are expected to shrink.

The L.A Times today quoted the San Francisco branch of the Federal Reserve as basically saying plane-construction orders are up but --

"Aerospace

manufacturers continued to produce commercial aircraft at a brisk clip,

but reductions in airline capacity have weakened the outlook for new

orders going forward, and orders for small corporate jets have dropped

significantly of late."

In other words, fewer execs are flying in to Congressional hearings in their Lears.


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