NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory plans to layoff about 200 employees amid federal cutbacks, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Layoff notices started going out two weeks ago and will continue through the end of March, the report quoted JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor as saying.
The layoffs could leave as many as 200 scientists or engineers and dozens of other workers out of a job.
The workers most likely to be affected are those associated with scientific projects that have been delayed due to budget concerns, and those who are part of missions nearing their end and no longer needing staff levels as large as previous years, McGregor told the newspaper.
Undoubtedly this will negatively impact some of our residents, said La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Donald Voss. With about 5,200 employees, JPL is the city's largest employer. And while JPL doesn't generate sales taxes, it does have an impact on the number of people eating lunch and shopping in La Cañada.
Congress has yet to approve a 2011 budget for NASA, and President Obama's 2012 budget proposal calls for no more than holding fast to NASA's 2010 allotment of $18.74 billion.
We're ratcheting down to a slightly lower budget level than we anticipated for this year. The cuts put us in line with what we think next year's budget is going to support, JPL's legislative affairs manager O'Toole said.