UWG Added $418 Million toward Region Economy

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The University of West Georgia continued to be a strong influence on the regional economy in fiscal year 2011, generating more than $418 million in spending by UWG and its students. This spending supported 3,880 area jobs and created a labor income impact of $186 million.

According to the report issued by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, the University System of Georgia’s 35 institutions had an overall $13.2 billion impact on the state’s economy between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.

“We, at the University of West Georgia, are proud to be part of the University System's outstanding contributions to the State of Georgia, and UWG is delighted to be an engine of economic growth and jobs in Georgia—and more significantly in the West Georgia region,” said Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president of UWG.

“While there are a few sister institutions which have a greater economic and jobs impact in overall terms, UWG’s output impact of $418 million and close to 4,000 jobs, relative to the size of our region, is exceptional.”

FY 2011 marked the fourth year of the University of West Georgia’s continued annual impact growth.

When adjusted for inflation, “there has been a total increase of about 15.6 percent between 2008 and 2011—or an annual impact growth of about 4.9 percent,” said Dr. Joey Smith, a professor of economics at UWG’s Richards College of Business.

Half of the economic impact was attributed to student spending, which helped support 2,877 full- and part-time jobs off-campus. UWG contributed the other fifty percent of spending on personnel services and operating expenses.

Higher education spending “translates into jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods and services,” stated study author Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of economic forecasting for the Selig Center.

Daniel Jackson, the president and CEO of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, knows the importance of having a state university in the community is more than just dollars and cents.
“Beyond its considerable economic impact, the University of West Georgia’s total contribution to the area is immeasurable,” said Jackson. “It’s hard to place a dollar amount on the creative, cultural and social influence generated within our community by its students, faculty and staff. They volunteer with civic groups, aid our elderly, train our workforce and help us plan for a brighter future.”

The study was produced for the University System of Georgia and can be found on its website.