Although congress has passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the issue of the fiscal cliff is far from resolved. The U.S. Treasury has already reached its borrowing limits, and once again will need approval from Congress to pay the nation’s bills. Around the same time, the brute-force sequestration measure negotiated to resolve the last debt ceiling debate will take effect. This measure would cut defense spending by 9.4 percent and non-defense spending by 8.2 percent, devastating federal agencies and putting many contracts with federal agencies into question.

Ironically, although the land in Nevada is 86.7 percent owned by the federal government, the government employs a 25.4-percent lower share of all employees in the state than in the rest of the country. In employment terms, the impact of a nearly 10 percent cut to federal government spending would not likely be as severe when compared to other areas. In the second quarter of 2012, $285 million in wages and salaries were paid to federal employees, representing only 2.4 percent of all wages paid at the time in the state. By comparison, the national average was 3.3 percent of all wages paid to federal government employees.

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