Lockheed decreases its furlough numbers

October 7, 2013 Updated: October 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm

NEW YORK - Lockheed Martin said Monday that it is furloughing about 2,400 workers due to the government shutdown - 20 percent less than the defense contractor had initially planned.

On Friday Lockheed Martin announced that it was going to furlough 3,000 employees because of the government shutdown.

The company, which is based in Bethesda, Md., said Monday that it adjusted its initial figure because the Department of Defense recalled most of its civilian employees to work. U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Saturday that most of the nearly 400,000 civilian Department of Defense workers are considered essential for national security.

Another defense contractor, United Technologies Corp., said Sunday that it was canceling its plans to furlough 2,000 workers after Hagel made the announcement.

Lockheed Martin Corp. said that of the 2,400 employees being furloughed, about 2,100 work on civilian agency programs and 300 work on Department of Defense programs. While most of the workers being furloughed are based in the Washington, D.C., area, the affected employees are located throughout 27 states.

Lockheed has several operations in the Colorado Springs area, but the company did not break down the layoffs by location, so it's unknown how many local workers may be affected.

On Monday there appeared to be little hope for a deal to end the government shutdown after the weekend passed with no compromises made. Speaker John Boehner on Sunday ruled out a vote in the House of Representatives on a bill to increase the borrowing authority of the U.S. government without concessions from President Barack Obama.

On the same day, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said President Obama has not changed his opposition to coupling a bill to re-open the government and raise the nation's borrowing limit with Republican demands for changes in the health care law and spending cuts.

Lawmakers have until Oct. 17 to increase the nation's debt ceiling. Failure to strike a deal could cause the United States to miss payments on its debt. The Treasury warned last week that a debt default could push the economy into a downturn even worse than the Great Recession.

"We continue to urge Congress and the Administration to come to an agreement that funds the government as soon as possible," Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

Its stock climbed $1.49, or 1.2 percent, to $123.99 in midday trading. It is approaching its 52-week high of $131.60. Its shares traded as low as $85.88 in mid-February.

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