University of Rochester

Study: University of Rochester Among Top Employers in New York State

May 6, 2010

The University of Rochester is the 6th largest private employer in New York state and "the leader in the transition of Rochester's economy," according to a new report released today by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR).

"The continued success and growth of the University of Rochester even during one of the most challenging economic periods in our nation's history would not have been possible without the critical support we have received from our elected leaders, philanthropists, the business community, and our neighbors," said University of Rochester President Joel Seligman. "One of the central goals of this institution is to provide a foundation through education, culture, science, and medicine for future economic growth in Rochester and beyond."

The CGR report notes that, "even during the most painful recession since the Great Depression, the University of Rochester has continued to expand its economic impact in the area, creating more jobs and generating more labor income than it did just two years ago." Between December 31, 2008 and 2009, employment at the University of Rochester grew by 167 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.

This trend in employment growth has placed the University of Rochester which has been the top employer in the region for several years among the largest private employers in New York state behind only the Presbyterian Healthcare System in New York City and national corporate giants Walmart, Citigroup, IBM, and JP Morgan Chase.

The CGR report calculated the economic impact of the University of Rochester using two methods. A more conservative formula called the traded sector assumes that certain functions of the University primarily those related to health care would continue to be performed in the community even if the University did not exist. The second formula called local and traded sector combined calculates the total impact of all University activities.

According to the CGR report, the University of Rochester:

  • Is the 6th largest private employer in New York state;
  • Added 167 FTEs in 2009 for a total employment of 19,610 FTEs (as of December 31, 2009);
  • Paid $1.25 billion in 2009 in wages to employees;
  • Spent $184 million in 2009 on local goods and services;
  • Is responsible for approximately 47,000 jobs (8.8% of the labor force) and $2.3 billion in wages in the region (direct and spillover, local and traded sector combined);
  • Spent an average of $214 million per year on capital improvements;
  • Generated approximately $141 million per year in sales taxes, personal income tax, and local property tax to the Rochester region and New York state (direct and spillover, traded and local sector combined);
  • Received more than $1.8 billion in external research funding between 2005 and 2009.

University officials note that several major expansion projects are in various stages of development, including the Clinical and Translational Science Building, the Strong Memorial Hospital Bed Expansion Project, the renovation and expansion of the Eastman School of Music and Kodak Hall, the Warner School of Education Building, and the development of a college town on University owned land on Mt. Hope Avenue.

"We have charted a responsible course of continued growth over the next several years that will strengthen the University's contribution to the region's economic transformation," said Seligman. "There are no certainties with respect to predicting our economy and its impact on our future plans, but the extent to which we already have seen clear signs of economic stabilization and the beginning of a recovery provides a basis for optimism going forward."