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Georgia Southern University

University’s economic impact on region exceeded $650 million in 2005-2006

Georgia Southern University had an economic impact of more than $650 million on the region during the recently completed fiscal year.

According to a study released today by Georgia Southern’s Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development (BBRED), the University pumped $653,440,929 into the economies of nine Southeast Georgia counties in 2005-2006.

In addition, the report revealed that Georgia Southern was responsible for more than 9,500 jobs in the region, which includes Bulloch, Bryan, Candler, Chatham, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins and Screven counties.

‘The study shows that the University continues to have a significant economic impact on the regional economy,” BBRED Director Phyllis Isley said. ‘This impact should not be considered as being solely on the city of Statesboro or Bulloch County, but distributed among several counties that are interlinked economically to the University.

‘Some of the activities that make the surrounding counties interlinked to Georgia Southern include businesses that supply goods and services to the University and the residences of faculty and staff commuting to and from other counties.”

The study further demonstrated that the University’s economic impact on the region increased by almost 16 percent from the previous fiscal year. Georgia Southern pumped $549,249,613 into the region’s economy in 2004-2005, according to a BBRED report issued last August.

In conducting their annual study, Isley and her staff divided their analysis into four areas:

  • The impact from the daily operations of the University as measured by operating expenditures
  • The impact from faculty and staff expenditures as measured by salaries and payroll
  • The impact from expenditures by students
  • The impact from major construction projects

During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, Georgia Southern spent $107.7 million on non-personnel operating expenses, which include everything from electricity and gasoline to tractors, office furniture, and expenditures for printing and publications.

Salaries for faculty, staff and support services as well as payments to consultants and casual labor totaled $89.1 million. The University spent $108 million on various construction projects, including the ongoing expansion and renovation of the Zach B. Henderson Library and the Recreation Activity Center.

Meanwhile, the 16,646 students who were enrolled at Georgia Southern in 2005-2006 spent an estimated $130.9 million. That figure does not include fees for on-campus housing and tuition, but it does include $43.9 million for off-campus housing, $28.7 million for entertainment and $28.2 million for food.

All together, the University was directly responsible for expenditures of $431.7 million in the region.

‘But Georgia Southern’s impact goes far beyond direct spending by the University and the spending of students and faculty,” Isley said. ‘For example, budget expenditures translate into the demand for goods and services for other businesses. In turn, these other businesses hire additional staff and order additional supplies to meet the demands of the University.”

The result, according to Isley, is a multiplier of 1.51. That means for every dollar directly spent by Georgia Southern, the re-spending of that dollar in the region adds an extra 51 cents to the total economy.

At the same time, the University was directly responsible for 6,956 jobs during the last fiscal year. Full-time employees at Georgia Southern accounted for 1,758 of those jobs.

Non-personnel operating expenses created 3,016 jobs, and expenditures of households receiving salaries or other payroll from the University created 645 jobs. Also, spending by students created 2,647 jobs, and construction expenditures created 648 jobs.

‘It doesn’t stop there,” Isley said. ‘For every 100 jobs directly created by Georgia Southern, the secondary spending associated with those jobs created another 37 jobs in the region.”

Thus, the study concluded, the University was directly and indirectly responsible for 9,544 jobs in 2005-2006.

Isley noted that the figures contained in the economic impact study are conservative because they do not include additional categories of economic impact, such as spending by former employees who are receiving retirement benefits from Georgia Southern, or consulting by University employees and the corollary spending that results from such income.

Also, the economic impact figures do not reflect spending by visitors to Georgia Southern’s campus. These visitors include people who attend activities such as athletic events, conferences, meetings and alumni reunions.

Finally, the economic impact figures do not measure any of the long-term benefits of the University to the area’s economic development and quality of life, or the increased lifetime earnings of its graduates.

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