August 7, 2006
06-094

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Heather Harris Graduate Intern

Economic Impact of Valdosta State University soars to $331.7million

Valdosta State University, which will celebrate its 100th birthday on August 18, continues to have a significant economic impact on the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (Valdosta-MSA). In a new study, funded through the South Georgia Institute in VSU's Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, the numbers show that for fiscal year 2006, the total economic impact of VSU related activities was $331.7 million, representing approximately 11 percent of total personal income for the Valdosta-MSA.

"The total economic impact on Valdosta-MSA employment was 5,183 jobs, or approximately 8 percent of the employed labor force," said Dr. Cynthia Royal Tori, VSU Associate Professor of Economics and the author of the study.

"This represents an economic impact increase of $27.0 million and 277 jobs since fiscal year 2004, the last time this study was conducted." she added.

Tori said an economic impact study measures changes in output and employment that are associated with local spending.

"For example, the University spends a portion of its revenue on faculty salaries and a portion of its revenues on library acquisitions. Since faculty salaries are expenditures within the Valdosta-MSA, they count toward the University's economic impact and are considered a direct effect."

Citing the library example, Tori said that since library acquisitions are expenditures outside the region, they are considered leakage and do not count toward the University's economic impact on the Valdosta-MSA.

"For the fiscal year 2006, the direct effect of Valdosta State University and its employees was $90.1 million, and Valdosta State University students was $139.4 million, for a total direct economic impact on output of $229.5 million," said Tori. She added that "when local businesses and workers receive payment for University-related local spending, they too spend a portion of their funds within the Valdosta-MSA." Tori said that during fiscal year 2006, every dollar spent by Valdosta State University and its employees led to an additional .556 dollar impact on output, generating an indirect effect of $50.3 million. She said that every dollar spent by Valdosta State students led to an additional .374 dollar impact on output, generating an indirect effect of $51.9 million. The total direct and indirect effects resulted in the $331.7 million overall impact.

Tori said VSU related activities also generated direct and indirect effects on Valdosta-MSA employment. She said at fiscal year-end 2006, VSU employed 538 faculty members and 1,003 staff personnel either full-time or part-time. Tori said that within the Valdosta-MSA, spending by Valdosta State University and its employees created an additional 2,022 jobs, and Valdosta State University student spending created an additional 1,620 jobs.

The entire report can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/lcoba/pdf/VSUEconomicImpactStudy2006.pdf .