UNG’s economic impact tops $625 million

The University of North Georgia’s economic impact on northeast Georgia topped $625 million during fiscal year 2016. According to an annual study of the University System of Georgia’s (USG) economic impact, UNG’s impact on the communities in its region rose nearly 15 percent, or $81 million, from the previous year.

The economic impact of UNG is a measure of direct and indirect spending that contributes to the 30-county service region served by the university.

“This study shows that UNG’s commitment toward advancing economic growth and prosperity in the areas we serve is right on target,” President Bonita C. Jacobs said. “Each and every day, UNG’s students, faculty and staff are contributing to our community to produce high-performing graduates ready to enter the workforce, and serve as a catalyst for economic development.”

UNG has campuses in Blue Ridge, Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee County. The study area for UNG includes Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Dawson, Fannin, Forsyth, Green, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Union, Walton, and White counties.

Most of UNG’s $625,883,204 economic impact consists of initial spending by the university for salaries and benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures. The figure includes $260 million in spending by UNG’s students and employees. On average, for every dollar spent by the university, an additional 52 cents is generated for the region.

UNG also had a regional employment impact of 6,204 jobs in the same period. The employment impact includes on-campus positions and off-campus jobs that exist due to the institution.

As a whole, the public colleges and universities that comprised the USG in 2016 had a total impact of $16.8 billion on the state, representing an increase of 8 percent from fiscal year 2015-2016. The study was conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, on behalf of the Board of Regents.