First post-pandemic analysis of the UMass statewide economic contribution indicates the impact is driven by the purchase of goods and services by the University, and its students, staff, and faculty.
Donahue Institute Report also notes major impacts not included in this calculation, including workforce development, R&D innovation, and contributions of alumni.
The five-campus University of Massachusetts (UMass) system generated a record $8.3 billion in economic activity and supported nearly 40,000 external jobs across Massachusetts, according to a report released today.
“The scope of the operations on our five nationally ranked research universities has a profound impact on the Massachusetts economy overall and every region of the Commonwealth,” UMass President Marty Meehan said. “As the state’s top workforce development engine, which educates more students than any other college or university in Massachusetts, and as one of the state’s three largest research universities, the university’s economic contribution touches every community.”
“Year after year, Massachusetts colleges and universities draw tens of thousands of students to our state, many of whom stay beyond graduation to build their careers and fuel our economy,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao. “Institutions like UMass have made Massachusetts a global leader in higher ed while also contributing to our state's excellence in just about every sector - from life sciences and technology to finance and advanced manufacturing. We're grateful for UMass's contributions to Massachusetts’ economic growth.”
“Massachusetts employers of all types – from biotechnology startups to well established manufacturers - appreciate the multi-billion-dollar impact that UMass and all its campuses have throughout the commonwealth. UMass is an economic catalyst, not only through the direct impacts cited in this report but also as an invaluable center of research and as the primary developer of the human capital that drives the Massachusetts economy,” said Brooke Thomson, President of Associated Industries of Massachusetts.
"UMass has long been a critical piece of the Massachusetts economy, as both a driver of our economic competitiveness and a source of talent,” JD Chesloff, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable said. “This report further demonstrates UMass' impact on the economic prosperity of every region of the state, including access to cutting edge research and development for emerging companies to accelerate their work in biotech, AI, advanced manufacturing and climate resiliency, among others."
The analysis, conducted by the UMass Amherst-based Donahue Institute, found that the economic impact generated by the five-campus UMass system translates into a 9-to-1 return on the state investment in the university.
According to the report, each of the five University campuses generated a significant economic impact for its region and the state. By campus or unit, the figures were:
- UMass Amherst: $2.9 billion / 13,222 external jobs
- UMass Boston: $1.2 billion / 5,516 external jobs
- UMass Dartmouth: $618.3 million / 2,960 external jobs
- UMass Lowell: $1.2 billion / 5,588 external jobs
- UMass Chan Medical School: $2.2 billion / 10,872 external jobs
- Central Administration: $241.6 million / 1,339 external jobs
The major drivers of economic impact are student, faculty and staff spending, construction projects, and the University's purchasing of the goods and services required for university operations.
"As a center of undergraduate and professional education, as well as research and innovation, the University of Massachusetts is a key driver of the Commonwealth’s economy and workforce, helping to set Massachusetts apart as it competes, both domestically and globally,” Donahue Institute Director of Economic and Policy Research Mark Melnik said.
Besides the spending captured in the economic impact formula, the report highlights several other UMass contributions to the Massachusetts economy, including:
More than 330,000 of the University’s alumni live in Massachusetts. They contribute skills and knowledge to the nation’s leading innovation economy; purchase goods and services from Massachusetts businesses; and pay local and state taxes.
Each year, the University’s five campuses award approximately 20,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Among the UMass Class of 2022 were 4,065 business majors, 2,328 nurses and other health professionals, 1,828 engineers, 1,458 computer and information science professionals, 1,342 biological and biomedical science majors, and 902 educators. Nearly three-quarters of UMass undergraduates are working in Massachusetts five years after graduation.
The University’s five campuses house more than 90 core research facilities that are made available to small- and medium-size Massachusetts companies to accelerate their job-creating research and development activity. Users of the core facilities make a $364 million contribution to the Massachusetts’ economy, beyond the $8.3 billion cited in this report.
The University’s $813 million research enterprise – the third largest behind just Harvard and MIT in Massachusetts – results in patents and technology licensing that creates jobs in established companies and forms the basis for start-up companies. In FY22, UMass inventions generated $41 million in licensing revenue for the University and 242 patent applications.
UMass campuses attract thousands of people for campus tours, conferences, performances, and sporting events. These visitors and sports spectators generate significant economic benefits for Massachusetts through their spending for transportation, restaurants, lodging, cultural attractions, and retail shops, among others. This is also a significant benefit for the state that is not covered in the UMass System Economic Contributions analysis.