FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Contact: Robert Preston, Jr.,
Economic Impact of University System Reaches $13.2
Billion, SGC Contributes $48 million
A newly released report states that the combined economic
impact of the University System of Georgia’s 35 institutions on their host
communities reached $13.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2011, which is five percent
higher than the $12.6 billion reported for FY 2010.
South Georgia College reported an economic impact of $48 million to its
service area, and contributed 662 jobs to the local job markets. Through its
various programs, capital projects and other activities, SGC makes an even
greater contribution with regard to job creation.
“The investment our state makes in the institutions of the University System
of Georgia yields a return that validates every dollar spent in support of
higher education. Our institutions in general, and South Georgia College in
particular, are strong economic engines during difficult times. Robust
colleges and universities contribute to stronger, more viable communities,”
says Dr. Virginia Carson, SGC President.
The FY 2011 study found that Georgia’s public university system generated
nearly 132,000 jobs, or more than 3 percent of all the nonfarm jobs that
exist in Georgia. The bottom line is that one job out of every 29 in the
State of Georgia is due to the University System.
While common wisdom might conclude that increased spending and jobs were the
result of institutional actions, the study found just the opposite. Students
accounted for the increased spending that generated more jobs off campus.
“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 study author Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys,
director of the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth in
the Terry College of Business.
The Selig Center analyzed financial and enrollment data for July 1, 2010
through June 30, 2011 to estimate the economic impact that each of Georgia’s
35 public colleges and universities make to the economy of the community
where it is located. The Selig Center began producing the annual economic
impact report in 1999.
Most of the $13.2 billion economic impact consists of initial spending by
USG institutions for salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and
expenses, and other budgeted expenditures, as well as spending by the
students who attended the institutions. Initial spending by USG institutions
and students equaled $9.5 billion, or 72 percent of the total output impact.
The remaining $3.7 billion (28 percent) of the output impact was created by
respending – the multiplier effect of the dollars that are spent again in
the region. For every dollar of initial spending by a University system
institution, research found that, on average, an additional 39 cents was
generated for the local economy. The study shows that between FY 2007 and FY
2011, total spending by all 35 institutions and their students rose by 30
percent, and 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” said Humphreys. “Without
exception, each college or university is an economic linchpin of its host
That’s mostly due to rising demand for higher education even when overall
economic conditions deteriorate, said Humphreys. Higher spending by
increasing numbers of enrolled students rather than higher spending by the
institutions accounted for most of the job growth. The number of on-campus
jobs barely increased while the number of off-campus jobs that exist due to
institution-related spending rose by 41 percent. The Selig study excludes
student spending on tuition and fees in its analysis.
One striking finding is that university – or college-related spending –
creates far more jobs off the campus than it does on the campus. On average,
for each job that exists on campus 2 off-campus jobs exist because of
spending related to the institution. Almost all of the off-campus jobs are
in private sector businesses. “That’s really not too surprising,” said
Humphreys. “After all, the private sector businesses operating in the
communities that are home to USG institutions are by far the biggest
recipients of institution-related spending.”
He continued: “Each of Georgia’s public colleges and universities are strong
pillars and drivers of the economies of their host communities. That
translates into more jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods
and services than would otherwise be the case.”
Economic impact studies in the future will include information regarding the
new institution’s enhanced reach that will result from the consolidation of
South Georgia College and Waycross College. This most recent study shows the
impact of WC to be $23 million and 302 jobs.
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About South Georgia College
South Georgia College (www.sgc.edu)
was founded in 1906 and is located in Douglas, Ga. The college's environment
gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and
close collaboration with faculty. With over 20 majors and transfer
opportunities, South Georgia College provides the finest education possible
to the citizens of its service area.