Georgia Southern University had a total economic impact of $795.3 million on nine counties in southeast Georgia during the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
The university's Economic Impact Report shows Georgia Southern brought an increased amount of revenue and jobs to the region, growing its economic impact by more than 13.5 percent over the previous year.
"We are proud that even during these very difficult economic times, Georgia Southern University can have such a positive financial impact on our community," said Brooks Keel, president of Georgia Southern. "This is the fourth year in a row that the university has contributed more than $700 million to the local economy totaling nearly $3 billion in just four years. The growth of the university has led to continued growth in the region and it translates into a positive bottom line for businesses throughout the region."
The report, compiled by GSU's Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development, analyzes Georgia Southern's economic impact on Statesboro and Bulloch County, as well as Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, Candler, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins and Screven counties. The report shows the largest increase during the last year was in student spending. UUniversity enrollment increased to more than 19,000 students and they spent an estimated $301.8 million in fiscal year 2009-2010, which was a seven percent increase above last year.
Student spending accounted for approximately 41.3 percent of the university's direct economic impact on the region. The study showed students spent $65.5 million on off-campus housing, $36.6 million on food services and $49.9 million on entertainment.
The number of jobs impacted by Georgia Southern also increased. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, GSU is the largest employer in Statesboro and Bulloch County and among the top five employers in the state's coastal region.
But the employment impact reached beyond university employees. It includes those who have a job at other businesses because of the university's economic activities and student and employee spending. The report found GSU's total impact on employment was 9,206 jobs during the fiscal year.
Researchers point out that the study is a conservative estimate of the university's overall economic impact because it does not take into account money spent by people traveling to the area for athletic events, student orientation, or conferences held at Georgia Southern. It also does not factor in research dollars flowing through the university.