URI generated $726 million in R.I. economic activity for FY2012
THE UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND, the sixth-largest employer in the state, generated $726 million in statewide economic activity last fiscal year, according to a URI Foundation report released Wednesday. The report estimated that the university added more than $500 million to its graduates’ aggregate earnings and approximately $3.5 billion to Rhode Island’s gross domestic product in 2011, assuming that half of the 48,400 alumni living in Rhode island would not otherwise have earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The University of Rhode Island generated $726 million in statewide economic activity, supported an estimated 8,200 jobs and provided approximately $392 million in wages in fiscal 2012, according to a report released Wednesday by the URI Foundation.
The report, titled “The Economic Impact of the University of Rhode Island,” assessed the impact of the university as the sixth-largest employer in the state, with a payroll of 3,675 employees in the fall of 2012, excluding student employees.
According to the 44-page economic-impact study, produced by New York-based Appleseed Inc., URI funded $86 million in construction projects and purchased $98 million in goods and services in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 of last year. Of these totals, URI paid $57.2 million in construction projects directly to Rhode Island contractors, and purchased $45 million in goods and services from businesses and institutions in the state.
“This independent assessment reinforces the fact that the University of Rhode Island is a major contributor to the economic vitality of the state,” said Michael Smith, president of the URI Foundation, in a release accompanying the report. “It shows the value the university brings to Rhode Islanders, and demonstrates how scientific discovery and innovation at America’s universities play a significant role in economic growth.”
Half of URI’s nearly $469 million operating budget in fiscal 2012 derived from sources outside Rhode Island, the report stated.
The university’s research spending totaled $100 million in 2012, a 64 percent increase over spending in fiscal year 2007. The federal government accounted for 80 percent of URI’s research funding last fiscal year, and state and local government accounted for 16 percent.
As of summer 2012, more than 48,400 URI alumni lived in Rhode Island, a number equivalent to approximately 22 percent of all Rhode Island residents with at least a four-year degree. The URI Foundation report estimated that the university added more than $500 million to its graduates’ aggregate earnings and approximately $3.5 billion to Rhode Island’s gross domestic product in 2011, assuming that half of the 48,400 alumni living in Rhode Island would not otherwise have earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree.
“The University of Rhode Island generates important economic benefits to our state, including providing significant employment, attracting important outside research dollars and investments and educating our current and future workforce,” said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, in a release. “The role of the university in achieving our common goal of sustaining innovation in Rhode Island and enhancing the overall economy of the state will continue to be instrumental to our success.”