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FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WUSA) --Diving over the Fiscal Cliff could have a severe ripple affect across the country, and Fairfax County could be particularly vulnerable.

Big cut-backs in government spending could mean big trouble for information technology and defense-related contracting firms that carry out a lot of federal business.If spending on those firms gets cut, then many people could be out of a job.

Fairfax County took in $23 billion in federal contracting money in 2009, which ismore than any other county in the country. That money is$3 billion more than Washington, D.C.

Growth for contracting in Fairfax County has been explosive. In 1980 federal contracting dollars totaled just $1.7 billion.

Why has Northern Virginia been such a draw for federal contracting dollars -- and the big-salaried jobs that come with them?

One word: Dulles.

The international airport provides easy access to Washington on it's limited access highway. Dulles also provides connections to both national and international markets. But it's already been feeling the affects of a soft economy.

The recent recession left many commercial buildings vacant.If more businesses go under then that means more vacancies, more job losses, possible new foreclosures and tax revenue to the state could take a dive, too.

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