The end of the Cold War brought profound changes to defense-dependent sectors of the civilian economy. The aerospace industry has been at the vortex of these contractions. based on the assumption that aerospace workers suffered unique hardships, the federal government established special programs to assist them. This study tests that broad assumption using unique administrative data from California. Although some aerospace workers suffered substantially, their experiences were not appreciably different from those of non-aerospace durable goods workers, which calls into question the rationale for special assistance to workers in defense-dependent industries.