Augusta State, Georgia Health Sciences universities equal $1.5 billion in economic impact

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 State university system schools pumped more than $1.5 billion into the Augusta economy during the past fiscal year, according to an economic study released Tuesday.

Most of that impact, according to the study by the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, is generated by Georgia Health Sciences University and its hospital and clinics, which contributed an estimated $1.4 billion to the regional economy during the 2011 fiscal year. The university is responsible for $853 million of that total.

Augusta State University accounted for $188 million.

The 35 institutions of the University System of Georgia had an economic impact of $13.2 billion on the state’s economy, up from $12.6 billion in 2010. Most of the total economic impact was due to initial spending by the institutions for salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, other budgeted expenditures, and spending by the students who attended the institutions.

The system generated nearly 132,000 jobs, more than 3 percent of all the nonfarm jobs in Georgia.

“Comparisons of the FY 2011 estimates to those for recent years show that our public college and universities really proved their economic worth during tough economic times” said Jeffrey Humphreys, director of the Selig Center, and the study’s author. The Selig Center has been producing the annual economic impact report since 1999.

In the Augusta region, the study found that ASU and GHSU produce 18,123 jobs.

The study showed that between fiscal year 2007 and fiscal year 2011, total spending by all 35 institutions and their students rose by 30 percent. The number of jobs that owe their existence to that spending rose by 24 percent – from 106,267 jobs to 131,990 jobs.

“That job growth is quite impressive given that the state’s total employment declined by 7 percent during this period,” Humphreys said. “Without exception, each college or university is an economic linchpin of its host community.”

Humphreys said that’s mostly due to rising demand for higher education even when overall economic conditions deteriorate.

On average, for each job that exists on campus, two off-campus jobs exist because of spending related to the institution. Almost all of the off-campus jobs are in private sector businesses.

Personal services$658,903,014$69,373,668
Operating expenses$144,122,133$17,636,978
Student spending$50,215,343$101,616,075
Total impact$853,240,490$188,626,721

Note: * When the economic contribution of the hospital is added, the impact is $1.43 billion and 15,955 jobs.

Source: University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth

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David Parker
David Parker 07/10/12 - 04:22 pm
Sounds like good, promising

Sounds like good, promising news until someone puts the spin on it. I like to start with a positive though.

socks99 07/10/12 - 05:12 pm
Clearly, the intent of such

Clearly, the intent of such information is to build a consensus among elected officials that they are to protect and hopefully expand public subsidies to higher education. These are "good" "clean" jobs, and in an economic downturn ... they are really all we can do!

In reality, spending on these services only indirectly affect the economy; it is not in the service economy, however, but in that of manufacturing and industrial output that promises to raise the boats. Throwing even more money into higher education -- even to soothe hurt feelings over a political misstep by the Regents -- is not the best public policy. Unfortunately, the self-interested academics need merely issue a press release to effectively misinform the public and public officials.

my.voice 07/10/12 - 05:13 pm
And that's just what Azziz

And that's just what Azziz spends on Bic Pens each month.

Insider Information
Insider Information 07/10/12 - 05:23 pm
$1.5 Billion Economic Impact*

* $1 billion of this figure has directly impacted the sign industry.

chadwick323i 07/10/12 - 07:14 pm

I take it Paine didn't constribute since they can't pay bills or give students their financial aid

Skooter 07/11/12 - 12:52 am
State workers have not had any cost-of-living raise for 5 years,

which creates an environment that is difficult to both attract and maintain a quality workforce. Interesting to read that spending has increased 30% during the same 5 years.

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