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Boston Globe: Big Bay State players may face showdown

In a column on the potential fiscal cliff crisis, the Boston Globe used figures from a recent UMass Donahue Institute report on the impact that the defense industry has on the Massachusetts economy. Columnist Steven Syre envisions a looming scenario which pits two of the state's leading industries, defense and health care, against each other in a competition for scarce federal dollars.

Both industries employ tens of thousands of people and contribute billions to the Massachusetts economy. According to the study completed by the Economic and Public Policy Research group at the UMass Donahue Institute, the defense industry directly employs approximately 47,000 people throughout the Commonwealth. The report calculates the total value of work performed under Department of Defense contracts in the Commonwealth last year at $13.9 billion. That work produces indirect economic activity worth another $11 billion, with a total of more than 130,000 jobs being directly and indirectly supported by the activities and spending of the defense sector.

Health care also occupies a large swath of the state's economy--encompassing hospitals, medical schools, biotechnology, and medical device companies among others. Any cuts to health care spending could also have widespread and deep consequences.

Read article: Big Bay State players may face showdown

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