UW News

November 19, 2019

UW drives $15.7 billion of state’s economy; sustains more than 100,000 jobs

UW News

Silhouette of George Washington statue, University of Washington, Seattle campus on November 20th, 2013. Photo by Katherine B. Turner

Across its three campuses, the University of Washington generated a total impact on the state’s economy of more than $15.7 billion in FY 2018, according to an economic contribution analysis released today. The study further concludes that the economic activity of the UW system supported or sustained 100,520 jobs throughout the state.

The analysis shows that the economic contribution of the UW has increased significantly over the past decade: Since 2009, the impact has increased by 55%, rising from $9.1 billion to $15.7 billion.

Read the report

The full Economic Impact Report is available on the UW Office of External Affairs website.

“The positive ripple effect of the UW generates a tremendous impact on the lives of all Washingtonians,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “These numbers are a testament to the economic engine fueled by the University of Washington, and the stories behind those numbers reflect the power of the people, businesses, research and innovation that contribute to and are supported by the UW and will continue to impact our state for generations.”

The study measured the economic contribution of UW operations including its campuses and projects across the state of Washington, in the Puget Sound region and in the cities of Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma. The study provides individual impact analyses of UW Medicine, UW Research, Intercollegiate Athletics, alumni of the University and CoMotion, a collaborative innovation hub dedicated to expanding the economic and societal impact of the UW community.

“The University of Washington’s mission is to serve the public, a commitment that we honor in countless ways — by creating access to excellence for all Washington students and families, by attracting some of the world’s most talented educators, innovators, health-care providers and researchers to advance discovery, and by bettering communities across the state,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “We are proud to contribute to Washington’s thriving innovation economy, and we seek to be measured by the positive impact that we create in the world.”

The study was conducted by Parker Philips, a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in economic impact analysis. Nichole Parker, a principal partner at Parker Philips, said, “Economic contribution is an objective way to measure the significance of an organization in the regional economy. It is a tool that policymakers can use to inform their decisions and empirical context that shows the impact of the institution. The UW is a sustainable economic driver that is making a demonstrable impact on Washington.”

Among the findings in the study:

  • The $15.7 billion total economic impact of the UW in FY 2018, which included $7.8 billion direct and $7.9 billion indirect and induced spending, was the result of operational spending, capital spending (three-year average), payroll and benefits paid to employees, student spending and visitor spending.
  • The operations of the UW supported or sustained a total of 100,520 jobsone out of every 37 jobs in the state.
  • Through its local spending and the jobs it supported or sustained, the UW generated $752.7 million in state and local taxes.
  • The staff, faculty and students of the UW contribute an estimated $61.9 million annually in charitable giving and volunteerism.
  • The UW supported or sustained $1 out of every $37 in Washington’s economy.

A significant portion of the UW’s overall effect on the state’s economy is attributed to UW Medicine, which has an annual economic impact of $8 billion, supports or sustains 51,489 jobs and generates $330.2 million in state and local tax revenue. Beyond the medical and social impact of this integrated health system, UW Medicine provides a unique impact to the residents of the Pacific Northwest, because it connects residents with a top-rated medical school and an internationally recognized research organization. The study shows that the UW Medicine impact is significant and rising.

The study also analyzed the individual impact of the UW Bothell and Tacoma campuses, both of which make a significant impact on the communities they serve and the state of Washington. Both campuses show an increase of jobs and impact over the previous economic impact study completed. UW Bothell’s FY 18 economic impact totaled $341.8 million on the state of Washington, with 2,322 jobs supported or sustained. UW Tacoma in FY 18 accounted for a $313.5 million impact in the state of Washington and supported or sustained a total of 2,064 jobs.

In addition to the significant impact of campus operations, the report also found that the income being added into the economy as a result of graduates obtaining post-secondary education is significant. In FY 2018, the UW conferred nearly 17,000 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees. The total number of alumni living and working in the state is more than 363,000, a group which will generate $328.1 billion over their careers.

For more information, contact Victor Balta at 206-543-2580 or balta@uw.edu.