Economic Downturn Continues to Challenge Manufacturers

With President-elect Obama bracing for a "sobering" jobs report, Cessna Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton acknowledged that his company would be facing layoffs, but would not comment on specific plans or numbers of workers who might be affected. Cirrus Design has called back most of the 500 or so employees idled by a December production slowdown, but a spokesman would not comment on local media reports that further layoffs could be in the offing there, also. Cirrus certainly did its best for those who were sent home last month, continuing to cover their insurance and other benefits -- even providing "supplemental pay" to buttress unemployment payments. How aircraft manufacturers and their vendors and suppliers fare in 2009 will have a lot to do with the overall economy and the success or failure of Obama's economic recovery plans. For more on how GA stands to weather the bad times, see Robert Goyer's blog entry Tough Times Indeed. Let's Go Flying.