SAVANNAH — The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia released a study Monday on the $16.8 billion economic impact of Georgia’s 28 institutions on their host economies in fiscal year 2016.
During that period, Armstrong State University contributed more than $252 million to the Savannah area, reflecting a $17 million increase from fiscal year 2015 to 2016.
"This news is encouraging for the Savannah region and the direction of the comprehensive regional university to further benefit the economy," Armstrong Interim President Jennifer L. Frum, Ph.D. said. "The university is inextricably tied to this region’s future prosperity, and we look forward to many more developments, such as the academic programs and college headquarters announced, that will lead to future economic growth."
A news release about the study did not specify how the Liberty County campus figured into Armstrong’s numbers. It also did not say where ancillary facilities, such as remoted classes, figured in.
The University System’s economic impact grew $1.3 billion, an increase of 8 percent, from fiscal year 2015 to 2016.
According to the study, provided by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, the increase is attributed to "spending by the institution and spending by the students who attend that particular college or university."
On average, for every dollar spent by the university, an additional 52 cents is generated for that institution’s region.
"The University System is committed to its role in supporting and advancing the economic growth of the state of Georgia," said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. "These numbers reflect the hard work and support of Georgians across the state, and we hope to continue to drive innovation, workforce development and job creation for years to come.
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 $16.8 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 approximately $11 billion, or almost 66 percent of the total economic impact. The remaining $5.8 billion (34 percent) of the economic impact was created by re-spending, which is the multiplier effect of the dollars that are spent again in the region.
The FY16 study found that the University System generated nearly 157,967 full- and part-time jobs – 3.6 percent of all jobs in Georgia.
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. Armstrong generated 2,673 jobs, an increase from the previous year’s figure of 2,485.
"The fundamental finding of this study is that each of the University System of Georgia’s institutions creates substantial economic impacts in terms of output, value added, labor income and employment," Selig Center for Economic Growth Director Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Ph.D. said. "These economic impacts demonstrate that continued emphasis on higher education as an enduring pillar of the regional economy translates into jobs, higher incomes and greater production of goods and services for local households and businesses."
To calculate the economic impact for FY16, the Selig Center analyzed data collected between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016.