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Service and Community

NC State Adds Billions to State and Local Economies

A new economic impact study commissioned for the 16 colleges and universities in the University of North Carolina system shows that NC State University packs a tremendous economic punch for Wake County, the Triangle region and the state.

During the 2012-13 fiscal year, NC State and its various enterprises created $6.5 billion in added income to the North Carolina economy, including $4.8 billion in income for the 13-county regional economy and $3.3 billion in Wake County income. Counties included in the regional analysis include Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren.

The study estimates that the added $6.5 billion to the statewide economy is approximately equal to 1.5 percent of the gross state product and equivalent to creating 91,505 new jobs. The $4.8 billion in regional income is 4.4 percent of the gross regional product for the region and is equivalent to creating 59,237 new jobs. Similarly, the $3.3 billion in added county income is about 6.1 percent of the county’s gross regional product and is equivalent to creating 44,538 new jobs.

“This study shows what we’ve known for many years: Our public universities provide a staggering impact to the local and state economies and are primary drivers of growth across North Carolina,” said NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson. “Every taxpayer dollar that comes in to NC State yields nearly $4 of return on investment in the form of research advancements, new technologies, new companies, the most-prepared graduates and jobs waiting for them.”

The study, conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International, examines a variety of factors to produce what is arguably the most comprehensive picture of the UNC system’s economic impact ever undertaken. See a fact sheet on NC State’s economic value.

The study captures return on investment to students, society and taxpayers as well as nine different economic impact values.

The report shows that for every dollar that society spent on education at NC State throughout the 2012-13 fiscal year, it gains $9 in added state income and societal savings, for as long as the 2012-13 NC State students remain active in the North Carolina workforce. For every dollar spent by taxpayers, they gain $3.80 in added taxes and public sector savings.

Alumni impact, or the accumulated contributions of former NC State students currently employed in the North Carolina workforce, amounted to $4.2 billion in added state income to the state’s economy, which is equivalent to creating 67,465 new jobs. Alumni impact totaled $2.3 billion of the $4.8 billion in additional income in the region and $1.5 billion of the $3.3 billion of additional income in Wake County.

NC State fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, evidenced by its number of startup companies. In Fiscal Year 2012-13, startup companies related to the university created $1.2 billion in added state income for the North Carolina economy, which is equivalent to creating 5,799 jobs. Business startup impact was also a potent economic driver in both the region and Wake County. Startup companies related to NC State created $1.1 billion in added regional income and $471.1 million in added county income.

“We embrace our responsibility to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity across North Carolina,” Woodson said. “And we will continue working to provide research solutions to our most intractable problems, a trained workforce for the jobs of tomorrow and service to benefit those most in need.”

About 19 percent of NC State’s graduate and undergraduate students are from outside the state. The expenditures of these students who relocated to the state during the analysis year added approximately $60 million in state income for the North Carolina economy. About 71 percent of NC State’s resident students came from outside Wake County in 2012-13, while 60 percent came from outside the 13-county region surrounding the university. Their relocation to Wake County and the corresponding expenditures on rent, groceries, transportation and the like added $133 million to the regional economy and $126 million to the county economy.

Out-of-state visitors attracted to North Carolina for activities at NC State brought new dollars to the economy through their spending at hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Visitor spending added approximately $17.6 million in state income to the North Carolina economy. Spending by those who live in North Carolina but came from outside the county and region to attend an NC State activity added $26.8 million to the regional economy and $26.5 million to the Wake County economy.