The University System of Georgia (USG) releases a paper annually that analyzes the economic impact that Georgia’s higher education institutions have had on the state in the previous fiscal year (FY).
The USG Board of Regents wanted to provide the public with “hard evidence of the economic ties between the university community and the community at large because, traditionally, the benefits are discussed in general and qualitative terms”.
So they commissioned the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business to prepare the report.
Their findings for fiscal year 2021 were published in May 2022. The economic observations presented in the study took place from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 and examined the impact of research universities, comprehensive universitieslinks, state universities and state colleges – a total of 26 schools. Private universities and colleges are not included in the USG and are therefore not included in the report.
The research was led by Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of UGA’s Selig Center.
Overall, “the total economic impact of the 26 institutions on their host communities was $19.3 billion in fiscal year 2021.” In fiscal year 2020, that number was 18.7 billion, an increase of about six hundred million.
According to the study, this “outcome impact” was captured by combining the initial spending of institutions and students with the induced or re-spending (multiplier) effect.
“Of the total for the 2021 financial year, 13.1 billion (68%) corresponds to the initial expenses of institutions and students; 6.2 billion (32%) is the induced or re-spent (multiplier) impact,” explains USG’s annual economic impact report.
Additionally, US government institutions added a total of 152,629 full-time and part-time jobs. Nearly a third of these job openings are on campus, with the rest off campus in the private or public sector.
Notably, it was reported that “the 152,629 US government-generated jobs represent 3.4% of all non-farm employment in Georgia.”
The report further explains:[To look at this number from a different angle], this would translate to approximately one employee for every 29 people. This would also total the number of positions at Georgia’s top five employers – Fort Benning, US Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon, Walmart, Delta Air Lines and Emory University.
This figure is on par with the number recorded in the report for fiscal year 2020; in the previous year, USG added 155,010 full-time and part-time jobs to the state. These jobs accounted for about 4% of all non-farm jobs in Georgia.
Among the many accomplishments achieved in fiscal year 2021 by USG institutions, the contribution of TechThe contributions to the local economy are notable.
It has been reported that the Institute has added more to the Georgian economy than any other institution housed under the USG. The impact of technology on production – the total increase in business turnover – amounted to nearly $4.2 billion. For comparison, it was around four billion in fiscal year 2020, meaning the Institute saw a 4.6% increase in the year.
More than half of this money comes from personnel services; meanwhile, the other part can be attributed to operating expenses and student expenses.
Additionally, Tech added approximately $2.9 billion in value to the state.
Not only did the Institute surpass all other USG schools in this regard, but it also narrowly broke the record it set in fiscal year 2020, when the value impact added from Tech was nearly $2.8 billion.
The presence of technology has also generated an abundance of jobs, totaling up to to 28,000 new job opportunities. 9,256 of these jobs were on-campus and 18,849 were off-campus jobs due to settlement-related expenses.
This figure is consistent with that of the 2020 financial year.
Researchers involved in the study say, “These economic impacts demonstrate that the continued focus on colleges and universities as the backbone of the state’s economy translates into jobs, higher incomes, and a greater production of goods and services”.
Overall, the study tells a positive story for each institution, and Tech is no different.
Its efforts to create an innovative environment have contributed to the economy of the state in a way that only a top technological institute can.
For a more in-depth review of this study, see usg.edu/assets/usg/docs/news_files/USG_FY_2021_Economic_Impact.pdf.
You can also contact Humphreys at [email protected] for specific questions.