From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Higher education good for the economy

Big-number time.

 

Every year, the economists at the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia release the economic impact of each university. So now we know the impact of Georgia Health Sciences and Augusta State universities, now Georgia Regents University, on the economy last year was $1.8 billion. They were also responsible for 19,192 jobs.

 

This is up $780 million from 2011, when the two universities reported a combined impact of $1.02 billion.

 

We’ll get the consolidated university numbers next year.

 

A note: The 2012 data include the campuses in Albany, Savannah, Rome and the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens.

 

Even with all of that, all the components that now make GRU was third in the state. University of Georiga was No. 1 at $2.6 billion. Georgia Tech was No. 2 with $2.2 billion in impact.

 

The University System of Georgia’s 31 institutions made a $14.1 billion total impact on the state’s economy in 2012.

 

“Even in the worst economic times in a generation or two, our colleges and universities proved to be strong pillars and drivers of the economies of their host communities,” said Dr. Jeffrey Humphreys, Director of the Selig Center and author of the report. “That’s due to rising demand for higher education regardless of the overall economic climate.”

 

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