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Lockheed Martin Boosting F-35 Job Creation Numbers, Report Finds Lockheed Martin Boosting F-35 Job Creation Numbers, Report Finds

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Defense

Lockheed Martin Boosting F-35 Job Creation Numbers, Report Finds

But the defense company said it uses common methods to determine direct and indirect job creation.

Wednesday's report isn't the first time the F-35 has come under criticism.(Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Jordain Carney
January 22, 2014

The number of jobs created by Lockheed Martin's production of the F-35 aircraft have been "greatly exaggerated," according to a report released Wednesday.

Lockheed Martin has touted the F-35 as the "single largest job creator" for the Pentagon, with an estimated 125,000 jobs across 46 states. But the Center for International Policy's William Hartung reports that the total number of jobs created ranges from 50,000 to 60,000.

It's not the first time the fighter jet has been placed under a negative spotlight. The Pentagon, the Government Accountability Office, and others have criticized the F-35 for its cost and safety issues.

 

Hartung references studies by the University of Massachusetts and George Mason University to get his lower estimate for jobs created. For every direct job created by Pentagon spending, 1.5 and 1.92 indirect jobs are created, respectively, according to the studies.

But Lockheed Martin estimates that for every direct job created by F-35 production, four indirect jobs are created, according to the report, citing the company's figures that 32,500 direct jobs have been created and 92,500 indirect jobs have been created, for a total of 125,000 jobs.

"This multiplier is far higher than the ones generated by other studies of Pentagon spending," Hartung writes, adding that until the company is more transparent about how it calculates its jobs numbers, they "cannot be considered credible."

The report also criticizes Lockheed Martin's claim that F-35 production creates jobs in 46 states, noting that approximately 70 percent of the jobs are located in five states, and that 11 states have fewer than a dozen jobs.

But Lockheed Martin is pushing back against the report. Michael Rein, a spokesperson for the company, told Bloomberg that Lockheed uses a 3-1 ratio on indirect-to-direct jobs created, based on standard methodology.

"This is an art more than a science," he said, but he added that the figures would be "conservative" if worldwide jobs were included.

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