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UT Infuses State with $2.5 Billion in Income, Creates More than 53,600 Jobs

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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, including all of its campuses statewide, brings at least $2.5 billion annually in income to the state of Tennessee and supports more than 53,600 jobs, according to a study released today.

The study by the Center for Business and Economic Research at UT Knoxville also found the University generates an estimated $237.6 million in state and local tax revenue.

“As the state’s land-grant and most comprehensive research institution, the University of Tennessee clearly has an enormous impact on Tennessee’s economy,” said Interim UT President Jan Simek. “While the economic impact can be measured, the overall impact of our educational, research and outreach efforts that stretch across all 95 counties is immeasurable.”

UT economists, led by CBER director Bill Fox, analyzed data from fiscal year 2008 to estimate the economic impact of the UT System overall as well as the individual impact of the campuses in Knoxville, Martin, Chattanooga, the Health Science Center in Memphis and the Space Institute in Tullahoma.

The economic impact studies focused on direct employment and income data.

The University’s state-wide payroll for FY 2008, including salary and benefits for 28,487 full-time and part-time faculty, staff and student employees, was $1.1 billion. The effect of payroll spending was $2.1 billion and accounted for about 15,050 additional jobs.

The $334.5 million UT spent on goods and services in the state led to $224.2 million in income for the state and the creation of 5,230 additional jobs.

Students and visitors attending athletic events at each campus spent approximately $348 million, accounting for $147.3 million in income and 4,879 jobs. The study did not include visitors attending non-athletic events.

The combination of impact from payroll spending ($2.1 billion), non-payroll spending (224.2 million) and student and athletic visitor expenditures (147.3 million) totaled $2.5 billion.

And that is likely a conservative estimation of UT’s impact, according to the study.

“There are significant qualitative benefits from the UT System that, though difficult to quantify, may be as important as or more important than the quantitative effects described above,” the study states. “These qualitative impacts include benefits from an educated workforce, distinguished research projects and increased community engagement through an array of activities.”

Another recent CBER study found more than 57 percent of the more than 300,000 UT System graduates stay and work in Tennessee.

Other examples include the assistance the Institute for Public Service provides to business and government to become more productive and faculty research that leads to innovation of new products. In addition, faculty, staff and students impact their communities through involvement in churches, charities and other organizations. The University also enhances the culture of each community through theater, music and art.

The overall UT System study included data from the Institute of Agriculture, the Institute for Public Service and System administration. These entities are not found in the individual campus studies.

Here is a summary of the findings for each campus:

UT Knoxville
Economic impact: $950.2 million
Jobs created: 23,055

UT Health Science Center
Economic impact: $761.2 million
Jobs created: 12,433

UT Chattanooga
Economic impact: $205 million
Jobs created: 5,232

UT Martin
Economic impact: $138.5 million
Jobs created: 3,844 jobs

UT Space Institute
Economic impact: $19.3 million
Jobs created: 362 jobs

To view and download the reports, go to

Category: Announcements