University of Rochester’s total fiscal impact on the economy was nearly $300 billion in 2019, with a local impact of more than $85 billion, a new report from the Center for Governmental Research Inc. shows.
UR is a major contributor to the upstate economy, directly employing roughly 32,500, with an estimated 28,000 full-time equivalents. Through spillover spending and its other economic impacts, its total employment impact is nearly 68,000, with earnings of $4.7 billion.
The university and medical center is the largest private employer in Upstate New York and the seventh-largest statewide, the report shows. The same report shows that Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is the 15th largest private employer statewide, while Rochester Regional Health System is the 19th. Most of the rest of the top 20 employees reside in New York City.
UR and its affiliates expanded their overall headcount by roughly 1,700 workers, a 5 percent increase from 2017 employment levels. CGR estimates the aggregate employment impact of the University as totaling nearly 68,000 jobs, an increase from 64,000 in 2017. Spillover employment is spurred by the employment and other activities of the university and includes external spending by the university on goods and services.
In 2019, UR paid wages of $2.2 billion to employees living in New York State. With spillover wages included, that rose to $4.7 billion in income in New York State, an 18 percent increase from 2017.
UR and its affiliates purchased goods and services totaling some $1.3 billion in 2019. Of this total, $317 million or 24 percent was spent in New York State, a 6 percent increase from 2017 spending.
During the past five fiscal years (FY2015 – FY2019), UR and its affiliates made more than $1.6 billion dollars in capital project expenditures, adjusted for inflation, according to the report. This averages to roughly $324 million in capital investments per year.
CGR estimates that spending by students totaled roughly $88 million in 2019. This spending supports in total roughly 2,460 jobs in the New York state economy and $90 million in total labor income.
Finally, another way UR is an economic engine involves the attraction of visitors who spend money while here. The University of Rochester hosts visitors throughout the year for events such as Meliora weekend, commencement, concerts, recitals, athletic events and admissions visits. Visitors to these events are a vital source of economic impact because they bring new dollars to the New York state economy, the report states.
Some 430,000 people attended a UR event in 2019, and an estimated 40,000 people were out-of-town visitors. They lodged more than 35,000 nights in local hotels. During 2019, CGR estimates visitors to UR spent nearly $9 million on food, lodging and gasoline, resulting in roughly 107 jobs and $4.7 million of labor income to the state economy.
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