Report: Michigan's 15 public Universities Have $24B Economic Impact in State

Report: Michigan's 15 public Universities Have $24B Economic Impact in State
December 10, 2013/Crain's Detroit Business

By Chad Halcom

Michigan’s public universities have a $24 billion economic impact on the state including $14.4 billion in direct spending and 71,000 full-time-equivalent jobs, according to a study by East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group LLC.

The study, released today and commissioned by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, found the state’s 15 public universities in fiscal 2012 were responsible for $7 billion in payroll spending plus $3.1 billion in non-payroll goods and services, and their collective student body spent a combined $4.3 billion over the same period.

That includes about $4.7 billion in payroll and non-payroll spending for the five-county region of Southeast Michigan, which was home to just under 128,000 of Michigan’s 301,470 students in fall 2012, according to the Anderson report. Public universities in that region include Oakland University, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The state was ninth in population among all states in 2012 but ranked sixth for total public university enrollment. Enrollment grew 5 percent from 2003 to 2012 despite a shrinking state population over the same period, according to the report.

“Whether it’s the investment of Wayne State in student housing spurring growth in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, alumni creating jobs in Marquette, research at (UM) encouraging entrepreneurial professors to create new companies or new classroom facilities in downtown Grand Rapids…Michigan’s investment in higher education pays off all over our state,” council Executive Director Mike Boulus said in a statement today.

The report also estimates the universities indirectly support about $9.5 billion in spending and 51,000 jobs, over and above their own payrolls, for 122,000 jobs statewide.

Total public university headcounts also climbed from under 295,000 in fiscal 2008 to nearly 305,000 in fiscal 2011, its peak year in recent history according to Anderson data, suggesting the global recession also drove a surge of retraining related enrollment that abated after the economy recovered.

“This report shows our universities are important contributors to jobs and prosperity in our state,” Glenn Mroz, president of Michigan Technological University and chairman of the council, said in a statement.