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UAH releases figures detailing economic impact on area

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(From release) The direct economic impact of The University of Alabama in Huntsville on the region and the state totals more than $400 million annually, according to the latest figures available.

UAHuntsville had an economic impact of more than $418 million for 2008-2009 and that impact led to the creation of more than 4,700 jobs statewide, according to a report by Jeff Thompson and Niles Schoening. Thompson is director of the university’s Office of Strategic Management Services and Schoening is Emeritus Professor of Economics at UAHuntsville.

“These numbers tell a good story about our university and our economic impact on the greater Huntsville area and the state of Alabama,” said President David Williams. “But the intrinsic value of a research university goes beyond those numbers.

“UAHuntsville plays a crucial role in preparing students to become valuable members of our workforce, improving the cultural environment and quality of life in the region, as well as  creating new knowledge through our research.”

Spending by the university, its students, staff and visitors was estimated at almost $205 million during the 2008-2009 fiscal year. This figure includes $103.7 million for wages and salaries paid to faculty and staff, and $64 million for supplies, services, construction and scholarships.

UAHuntsville students spent an estimated $34.3 million off campus for food, transportation, entertainment and other goods and services, and visitors from outside Huntsville spent an additional $2.83 million for hotel rooms, meals and other services.

This direct spending, combined with an indirect impact* of $229.9 million, pushes the university’s total economic impact to $418.5 million for fiscal year 2008-2009.

UAHuntsville had 1,952 full-time and part-time employees during this time. Part-time employment include graduate and undergraduate teaching and research assistants as well as adjunct faculty, instructors and other part-time staff. This employment level resulted in a total jobs impact of 4,716 in Alabama. Off-campus employment resulting from off-campus student expenditures totaled 784 in Alabama.

The total tax impact from the university’s payroll and operations can be measured as contributions to local sales tax collections as well as the Alabama sales tax and the Alabama income taxes generated.

The university’s total impact of sales tax plus income tax in Alabama is estimated at $24.2 million. Contributions to Huntsville and Madison County’s sales tax collections were approximately $6.5 million. State sales taxes generated outside Madison County were approximately $3.6 million for a total state sales tax impact of $10.1 million. Sales taxes generated in Madison County plus those sales taxes generated in Alabama totaled $16.6 million during fiscal year 2009. Alabama income tax collections are estimated to have been $7.6 million during this period.

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