BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Natick Labs is bracing for major cuts now that sequestration cuts are in effect.

Natick Labs specializes in clothing and equipment for the military and employs about 1,600 civilian workers.

Executives there told WBZ-TV, each employee will have to take 22 unpaid furlough days in the next seven months. This will result in four weeks unpaid for each worker.

Employees will work four days a week rather than five.

Natick Labs says they expect financial and operation impacts among their employees.

Despite the bad news for the department of defense, a recent analysis offers “cautious optimism” that the Massachusetts economy will continue to grow modestly in the coming months, despite the threat posed by the automatic federal spending cuts that took effect this weekend.

The editorial board of MassBenchmarks, a journal published by the Donahue Insitute at UMass, forecasts a rebound in exports from the state now that the economies of two major trading partners — Europe and China — have begun to stabilize.

The economists also cite the improving real estate market and an unemployment rate that remains below the national average. They say the state has experienced a “reasonably healthy” recovery.

The federal budget sequester is expected to take a toll on key sectors of the Massachusetts economy, however, including companies and research facilities that rely on defense spending and grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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