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How Houston Fares Under Proposed Federal Cuts

Republican and Democratic lawmakers continue to battle over how much to cut spending in exchange for raising the federal debt ceiling. Andrew Schneider reports on how Houston would fare under such cuts.


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money tighteningIt’s easy to talk about cutting government spending in the abstract. Getting down to specifics is what makes it painful. That’s where slashing funds means eliminating federal jobs, throwing constituents out of work.

But Ted Jones, chief economist for Houston-based Stewart Title Guaranty Company, says that both the city and the state are relatively sheltered.

“We have had consistently, in Texas and in Houston, a lower percentage of our employment in government positions. As they retract spending, we will not lose as many jobs as other parts of the country will lose.”

Jones says Houston also benefits from being a young city, with a median age of 32. That’s five years younger than the U.S. as a whole.

“So, we have a workforce that’s actually going to be less reliant on Social Security and retirement benefits and that type of thing, and more in the stage of entering their maximum income capacity.”

The city isn’t completely immune to the effect of federal cuts. The imminent end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program has already led Houston-based contractor United Space Alliance to announce 800 layoffs.