After American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 earlier this month, the residents of North Texas brace for an impending ripple effect. Despite reassurance from American officials that consumers and employees will see little impact from the filing, economists are not so confident. Employing over 20,000 locals, American Airlines is a big player in the local economy and holds one of the keys to our economic wellbeing. Now, two more key players in the local economy are facing financial red flags.
Local Trouble Spreads Fast
Defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, and the Barnett Shale natural gas drilling industry are reportedly experiencing financial pressure. Although there are no current plans for either company to hit Fort Worth bankruptcy court, many local economists are watching their situation closely.
Lockheed Martin has been working diligently to move around federal budget cuts to big weapons programs like Lockheed’s F-356 fighter jets. Once thought to be an easy target for easy money, the Barnett Shale continues to face opposition among locals for gas production. Fearing ground water contamination and air quality effects, many cities have simply denied the company access to the lucrative commodity.
Despite concerns over an already unsteady local economy and relatively high unemployment rate, both Lockheed and the Barnett Shale are expected to stay the course. Small downsizing and costs cuts are in the works for both companies, in hopes of avoiding further problems.