USG releases results of system-wide economic impact study

A study commissioned by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia shows Georgia Tech has a $2.87 billion impact on the state’s economy.
A close up of Tech Tower (Photo Credit: Ethan Trewhitt)

A close up of Tech Tower (Photo Credit: Ethan Trewhitt)

A study commissioned by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) released May 12 shows the Georgia Institute of Technology has a $2.87 billion impact on the state’s economy.

Georgia Tech’s total impact was number one among the 31 institutions that constituted the USG in 2015. The system’s total impact for fiscal year 2015 was $15.5 billion. The following universities had the largest economic impact, according to the study:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology, $2.87 billion
  • University of Georgia, $2.34 billion
  • Georgia State University, $1.79 billion
  • Augusta University, $1.23 billion
  • Kennesaw State University, $1.04 billion

Conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, the study looked at data from fiscal year 2015 – July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. The impact of the total output of the universities was calculated by adding the initial spending to the re-spending, or multiplier effect, for each institution in its host community.

“Georgia’s colleges and universities have a tremendous impact on our state’s economy,” said Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson.  “In addition to areas examined in the study, research as well as collaborations with government, business and industry result in solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges, while preparing a skilled and diverse workforce. A good example is Tech Square. The innovation neighborhood has helped foster an environment that attracts not only the entrepreneurial community, but also a number of major Fortune 500 and multinational firms that see it as a critical component that helps drive their business. A key factor is access to talent — specifically, access to the talent of students, faculty, and researchers at Georgia Tech and Tech Square,” he said.

The study also determined that more than 150,190 full- and part-time jobs in the state (3.5 percent) came from USG institutions. Georgia Tech’s employment impact is 23,328 jobs, which includes 7,860 on-campus jobs and another 15,468 off-campus jobs that exist because of Institute-related spending. According to the study, for each job created on campus, 2.1 jobs exist off campus because of the spending related to the school.

USG measures economic impact approximately every five years. In 2010, the last time the study was commissioned, Georgia Tech’s economic impact was calculated at $2.15 billion with 18,127 full- and part-time jobs.

Impacts not covered in the study include intellectual capital, such as the fact Georgia Tech has developed the third-largest number of patents in the state behind AT&T and Kimberly Clark. In addition, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of 12 business incubators that are changing the world, launching more than 140 companies that together have created thousands of jobs and attracted more than $2 billion in investment.

The study did not include spending by visitors to the schools’ host communities or former employees who stay in the area upon retirement. The study also did not examine intangible benefits to the host communities.

“Finally, the outreach and service units of the college or university provide valuable services to local business and residents,” the study’s authors wrote. “Cultural and educational programs and facilities often are available to the general public and provide intangible benefits to the host community by improving residents’ quality of life.”