The University System of Georgia’s (USG) economic impact on the state was $15.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 according to the most recent study conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.
The University System’s economic impact grew $1.3 billion, an increase of 9 percent, from fiscal year 2014 to 2015. Student spending in communities where USG institutions operate was a primary driver in the increase with overall higher student enrollment in the University System creating significant impact.
The economic impact of the USG is a measure of direct and indirect spending that contributes to the regions served by the System’s colleges and universities.
Most of the $15.5 billion economic impact consists of initial spending by USG institutions for salaries and fringe benefits, operating expenses and other budgeted expenditures, as well as spending by the students who attended the institutions. Initial spending by USG institutions and students equaled $10.6 billion, or almost 69 percent of the total output impact.
The remaining $4.9 billion (31 percent) of the output impact was created by respending, which is the multiplier effect of the dollars that are spent again in the region. For every dollar of initial spending by a University System institution or its students, research found that, on average, an additional 46 cents was generated for the local economy.
“The University System is part of the economic engine of the communities we serve,” said Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “We take the responsibility of positively impacting the economy of the state as seriously as we do educating and graduating our students.”
The FY15 study found that the University System generated nearly 150,191 full- and part-time jobs. Approximately 32 percent of these positions are on campus as USG employees and 68 percent are off-campus positions in either the private or public sectors.
To calculate the economic impact for FY15, the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business analyzed data collected between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015. The annual study is conducted on behalf of the Board of Regents by Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center.