The University of Toledo’s impact to the region’s economy totals $3.3 billion, according to a comprehensive study by UT economists.
That is equivalent to 9.7 percent of the region’s gross metropolitan area product.
“As the second largest employer in northwest Ohio with an enrollment of more than 20,000 students, we are proud to be one of Toledo’s anchor institutions contributing as a major force to the region’s growth and development,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The University of Toledo continues to work hard to strengthen the community.”
Dr. Oleg Smirnov, associate professor of economics, and Dr. Olugbenga Ajilore, associate professor of economics, completed the analysis this academic year.
“We show the short-term and cumulative, lasting contributions the institution makes to the region,” Smirnov said. “If the University had not been opened in Toledo 145 years ago, these impacts would not exist.”
The UT economists not only charted University, student and employee spending over the 2015-16 academic year and its ripple effect, they also calculated the long-term value of the educated workforce of UT alumni and faculty living in the area.
Of the $3.3 billion, $1.98 billion in economic growth and competitiveness is contributed by UT faculty and alumni who live in the region. Thirty-three percent of UT alumni have remained in the Toledo area after graduating.
UT is the top-ranked institution in the region for social mobility and second in Ohio. UT also ranks among the highest compared to other Ohio public research universities for income mobility.
“UT provides a path to success and professional opportunity for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access higher education,” Ajilore said. “Because of this University, they are thriving. Plus, many of them stay in the region and impact the economy once they graduate.”
Of the $3.3 billion in total economic impact, $1.35 billion goes from UT to the Toledo area through payroll, local purchases for day-to-day operations, and expenditures by students and visitors at local businesses. That includes direct impacts of $769 million, which lead to an additional $582 million in indirect and induced effects.
The study finds that for every job at UT, the local economy gains 2.6 full-time equivalent jobs.
According to the study, UT directly generates more than 5,000 full-time jobs, and economic activity by the University leads to the creation of over 8,000 additional direct and indirect jobs. A total of 13,498 jobs were created directly or indirectly because of UT’s presence.
UT’s 20,381 students and visitors to the campus contributed an estimated $340 million to the Toledo area economy in fiscal year 2015-16, according to the report.
Plus, Smirnov and Ajilore looked at state impact. They found that for every $1 invested by the state into UT, $10 of economic impact is generated to the local economy. University operations and associated economic activity contributed $44.4 million in state and local taxes.
“When it comes to supporting higher education, every dollar counts, and any change is felt widespread,” Smirnov said.
To read the full report, go to utoledo.edu/economic-impact.