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Consultant reports UM System's state economic impact is $5.4 billion annually

MU contributed $3.9 billion

Economic impact study

From left, Mun Choi, Mark McIntosh and Paul Eisenstein listen to Paul Umbach, founder of consulting firm Tripp Umback answer questions about a study of the UM System's economic and community impact Tuesday at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY — The University of Missouri System has an economic impact of $5.4 billion annually on the state, UM System President Mun Choi and system administrators announced Tuesday.

According to an economic impact study done by consulting firm Tripp Umbach, the system also collected more than $244 million in state and local revenue taxes and directly or indirectly employed 61,105 people. 

Administrators and economic consultant Paul Umbach of Tripp Umbach presented the information to legislators and news media at the Capitol.

MU had an economic impact of $3.9 billion on the state, supported 46,855 jobs and generated $117.4 million in state and local taxes in 2017, according to the report.

There is overlap in both the job and the economic impact numbers, UM spokesman Christian Basi explained. The consultants broke out information for each campus, MU Health and MU Extension, but when they put everything together, they did not double count numbers so the totals don't add up exactly.

According to the report, an organization’s total economic impact is a compilation of the direct impact, the indirect impact and the induced impact generated in the economy as a result of the organization. This total impact includes the spending of the organization, the labor income expenditures and the value added to the economy as a result of the organizational spending.

Umbach said three factors are used to examine an academic system's economic impact: money spent by a system on things like faculty and facilities that stays within the state; money spent by in- and out-of-state students on campus and money spent by patients at system hospitals within the state; and money spent by visitors to each campus. 

When comparing the UM System’s economic impact to other state university systems, Umbach said, UM’s impact was higher in certain areas than others because of the economic development happening in the cities around the UM campuses.

"I think the UM System compares very favorably with other state systems, and the reason why it’s a little stronger in its impact is that its impact doesn’t happen all in one place," he said.

Last November, the UM System hired Tripp Umbach, which conducts impact studies for academic institutions, to provide a report on the economic, employment and government revenues created from the university system. According to the report, the analysis measured economic effects throughout the state and each UM System campus — MU, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri University of Science & Technology and the University of Missouri-Kansas City — as well as MU Extension and MU Health Care.

Read more at the Columbia Missourian