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UNG’s economic impact on northeast Georgia tops $625 million

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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 University of North Georgia’s (UNG) 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, which has campuses in Blue Ridge, Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee County, also had a regional employment impact of 6,204 jobs in the same period. The employment numbers include on-campus positions and off-campus jobs that exist due to the institution.

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.

The increase is attributed to both spending by the institution and spending by students who attend UNG. On average, for every dollar spent by the university, an additional 52 cents is generated for the region.

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. Included in UNG’s economic impact is $260 million in spending by UNG’s more than 17,000 students, which alone resulted in 3,305 jobs in the study area.

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 university system is committed to its role in supporting and advancing the economic growth of the state of Georgia," USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. "These numbers reflect the hard work and support of Georgians across the state, and we hope to continue to drive innovation, workforce development and job creation for years to come."

The study found that Georgia's public university system generated more than 150,000 full- and part-time jobs. Approximately 33 percent of these positions are on campus as USG employees and 67 percent are off-campus positions in either the private or public sectors. The report also noted that on average, for each job created on campus, there are two off-campus jobs that exist because of spending related to the institution.

To calculate the economic and employment impact for fiscal year 2016, the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, on behalf of the Board of Regents, analyzed data collected between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.

For fall 2017, UNG’s projected student enrollment will total more than 19,000.

The full economic impact report is available on the USG web site.

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