News: Press Releases

May 22, 2014

UMass pumped $6.1 billion into Massachusetts economy in 2013

  • The UMass System
More than 45,000 jobs tied to the University's economic activities

BOSTON - May 22, 2014: The University of Massachusetts system contributed $6.1 billion to the Massachusetts economy last year, with growth over the past three years driven by unprecedented levels of construction projects. Spending tied to UMass employees, operations, research, students and construction was responsible to varying degrees for over 45,000 jobs, according to a new report released today.

The study by the UMass Donahue Institute highlighted the role that the UMass system and its five campuses played in boosting the economy of their respective regions and the entire state. It found that the state's $519 million investment in the UMass system in Fiscal Year 2013 helped leverage and support $6.1 billion in economic activity in Massachusetts or $12 in economic output for every $1 in state money that UMass received.

>> Read the full study (PDF)

The $6.1 billion that UMass contributed to the Massachusetts economy represented more than a 25 percent increase over the $4.8 billion the University generated for the state in FY 2010, the last time a similar study was done.

"This report demonstrates that in addition to providing academic excellence in a wide variety of disciplines and internationally recognized research, the University of Massachusetts is a significant economic driver for the Commonwealth," said UMass President Robert L. Caret. "State investment in UMass leverages significant in-state and out-of-state resources and activity such as federal research grants and innovative business start-up and technology commercialization. The ripple effect of our activities directly or indirectly touches every person in the state."

The Ripple Effect

The purpose of the Donahue Institute report was to provide an objective analysis to quantify the economic contributions of the University of Massachusetts system and its campuses on the Commonwealth's economy.  The University has campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and a Medical School in Worcester, and also operates programs in 75 other facilities across the state.

UMass not only directly contributes to the state's economy through its own spending and the spending of its faculty, staff and students, but also through the ripple effect that spending generates which leads to an even greater demand for goods and services.  In FY 2013, the University employed 15,782 full-and part-time faculty and staff and had an enrollment of 67,409 students.

In addition to the economic impact the University has on the state as measured by the new study, the University of Massachusetts affects the Commonwealth's economy in many other ways, including:

  • Producing more than 16,000 graduates a year at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels, the majority of whom will remain in Massachusetts;
  • Conducting about $600 million in sponsored research annually;
  • Generating breakthroughs and discoveries that lead to the creation of new companies and new jobs;
  • And as a result of its status as a national leader in converting its high-quality research into licensing income to the tune of about $35 million a year.

Among the highlights of the Donahue Institute study:

  • Massachusetts jobs associated with the University's activities climbed to 45,334, about a third more than the 33,321 jobs in 2010.
  • Construction-related activities in FY 2013 accounted for $1.1 billion, which supported 6,356 jobs. System-wide, construction activity was more than double the value it was three years ago.
  • UMass economic activities supported 29,552 external jobs in FY 2013 - and counting its own employees the University supported a combined total of 45,334 jobs.
  • During the period covered by the report, major construction jobs on the campuses included the Life Science Laboratories Building at UMass Amherst; General Academic Building No. 1 at UMass Boston; the Massachusetts Accelerator for Biomanufacturing at UMass Dartmouth; the Emerging Technology and Innovation Center at UMass Lowell; and the Albert Sherman Center at the Medical School in Worcester.

Leveraging its resources

"This report makes clear that UMass has embraced its role as an anchor institution, using and leveraging its resources to contribute directly to various regions across the Commonwealth," President Caret said. "We are committed to continuing to expand our influence and support economic growth in the Commonwealth, whenever and wherever there is an opportunity to make a difference."

According to the Donahue Institute report, each of the five University campuses generated substantial economic contributions for Massachusetts. By campus, the figures were:

  • Amherst: $1.9 billion
  • Boston: $870 million
  • Dartmouth: $517 million
  • Lowell: $812 million
  • Medical School: $1.7 billion

In addition, external jobs supported by each campus were:

  • Amherst: 8, 957
  • Boston: 4,692
  • Dartmouth: 2,483
  • Lowell: 4,801
  • Medical School: 7,945

"This report outlines how an investment in the University of Massachusetts yields strong economic benefits for the Commonwealth," said Henry M. Thomas III, chairman of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. "Research conducted at the University of Massachusetts bolsters the Commonwealth's economic standing and allows us to compete on the national and international stage. The University system also promotes economic strength by offering thousands of quality jobs across all regions of the state."

Business and Civic Leaders React

"Massachusetts is home to many robust sectors of the innovation economy - information technology, life sciences, clean energy, defense and more - and the University of Massachusetts engages with each of them successfully, in research and development as well as in education and workforce development", said Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon New England and board chair of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. "A strong public higher education system is key to having a successful innovation economy, and this report illustrates how the state's investment in UMass yields huge returns."

"The economic contributions of the University of Massachusetts go beyond the traditional centers of higher education in Greater Boston - they span the entire Commonwealth, creating a positive economic impact statewide as a catalyst for growth in every region throughout Massachusetts," said Dan O'Connell, president & CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.
"Research is a major source of economic growth and jobs across the Commonwealth, and the University of Massachusetts has been very successful in leveraging federal research funding into new companies, products, technologies, and innovation. Its impact on business - through incubators and small-business support centers as well as the construction of new research centers and academic facilities, to name a few examples - has leveraged and supported a tremendous amount of economic activity throughout our economy," said John F. Fish, chair of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and chairman & CEO of Suffolk Construction Company Inc.

About the UMass Donahue Institute

The UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) is the public service outreach and economic development unit of the University of Massachusetts President's Office. Established in 1971, the UMDI coordinates multi-campus initiatives that link UMass, other public and private higher education, and other external resources with the needs of government agencies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. UMDI provides significant economic and public policy analysis, organizational development, training, education, financial management education, research, and evaluation to federal and state agencies, nonprofits, industry associations, and corporations. UMDI draws on its unique position within higher education to serve as a bridge between theory, innovation, and real-world applications.

Contact: Ann Scales, 617-287-4084; Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073