University’s Economic Impact on Region Nearly $212 Million

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A new state study estimates a total economic impact of almost $212 million by Columbus State University on the region it serves, an increase of nearly $38 million since the last such study three years ago.

The figures were released today in a report on the University System of Georgia’s $11 billion annual economic impact on the state, which indicates that the economic clout of the university system’s 35 public colleges and universities continues to increase.

“We’re delighted that the state is able to quantify the impressive economic impact that is generated in the community because of the partnerships Columbus State University enjoys here,” said CSU President Frank Brown. “It’s good to have a measurement like this, but of course, CSU’s impact here is more than economic; it’s educational, cultural and intellectual.”

For 2007, total spending by all USG institutions was $7.3 billion. The remaining $3.8 billion in total economic impact is attributed to the “multiplier effect,” which traces the flow of money re-spent in the region. The regional area influenced by CSU encompasses Muscogee, Harris, Chattahoochee, Marion, Talbot, Stewart, Troup and Meriwether counties.

The study, which spanned fiscal year 2007, was conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. Figures have just been updated again to show a $1.3 billion increase in the system’s economic impact since 2005. Researchers found that, on average, for every dollar of initial spending in a community by a University System institution, an additional 52 cents was generated for the local economy hosting a college or university.

In addition to the $11 billion in “output impact” generated by the USG, the study found that public higher education is responsible for 106,267 full- and part-time jobs or 2.6 percent of all the jobs in the state, or about one job in 39. For all institutions combined, 14.6 jobs were generated for each million dollars of initial spending in 2007.

In Columbus, 2,436 jobs in 2007 were attributable to CSU, including 1,022 full- and part-time jobs on campus and 1,414 off campus. The report also says the university and its students spend more than $150 million directly in the region. For each job created on campus, 1.4 off-campus jobs exist because of spending related to the university.

”Fifty years of partnerships with the Columbus region have resulted in an improved quality of life for our people many aspects of which cannot be measured,” Brown said.

CSU’s economic “output” impact, which includes spending, salaries and benefits, operating expenses and supplies as well as spending by students who attend CSU was calculated to be $211.8 million in fiscal year 2007, up from $174.3 million in 2005.

To view the entire report go to http://www.icapp.org/pubs/usg_impact_fy2007.pdf.