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.

Stealth: Some still tinkering under the hood.
National Journal
Jordain Carney
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
Jan. 22, 2014, 8:01 a.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
McMaster Retiring This Summer
52 minutes ago
After Saudi Visit, Massive Arms Sale Approved
2 hours ago
House Committee Calls Mark Zuckerberg To Testify
5 hours ago

"The House Energy and Commerce Committee will summon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify, following recent revelations that Trump-linked Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained information on some 50 million Facebook users. 'We believe, as CEO of Facebook, he is the right witness to provide answers to the American people,'" said Reps. Greg Walden and Frank Pallone. On Wednesday, Zuckerberg told CNN that he was open to testifying. "The House panel said it plans to send a formal letter to Facebook in the days ahead."

Tillerson Receives Applause for Farewell Remarks
6 hours ago
House Passes Omnibus Spending Bill
6 hours ago

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.