University of Rochester

Report Examines University of Rochester's Impact on Regional Economy

June 14, 2012

The University of Rochester is "a vital cornerstone in our region's economic health" according to a new report by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR). The report also shows that the University, which is the region's largest employer, is the largest academic institution in New York State.

"Rochester's economic future will be propelled by technological innovation," said Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester. "This transformation is already underway, and the University of Rochester in partnership with the region's business community, public sector, and with the support of philanthropists and our neighbors will continue serve as a source of the new technologies, scientific knowledge, and skilled workers necessary accelerate economic growth."

The report includes a list, complied by CGR, of New York State's largest private sector employers. With 20,340 full-time equivalent employees (as of December 31, 2011), the University of Rochester which has been the largest employer in the Rochester region since 2006 is the 7th largest employer and the largest institution of higher education and academic medical center in the state.

The report finds that the University is responsible for supporting approximately 47,000 job (direct and spillover) in the Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area, the equivalent of 9 percent of the region's workforce.

According to CGG, the University of Rochester:

  • Provided employment to 23,485 people (full-time, part-time, and time-as-reported) and paid $1.35 billion in wages in 2011;
  • Purchased local goods and services in excess of $144 million in 2011;
  • Spent an average of $217 million per year in capital improvements over the last five years;
  • Generated approximately $143 million in sales tax, personal income tax, and local property taxes in 2011;
  • Received more than $2.7 billion in external research funding between 2005 and 2001.

The report points to several projects, both planned and underway, that will serve as a basis for future University growth. These include the Wilmot Cancer Center Vertical Expansion Project, the new Golisano Children's Hospital, both new and planned expansions of the mixed-used developments at College Town on Mt. Hope Ave and Brooks Landing, the Warner Graduate School of Education's Raymond F. LeChase Hall, the O'Brien Residence Hall, the I-390 Interchange Project, Jefferson Avenue Revitalization project, and ARTWalk Phase II.

CGR also projects that the Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation, a new partnership between the University and IBM to create the most advanced computer network dedicated to health research in the nation, has the potential to create an estimated 880 jobs (direct and spillover) and $49 million in payroll. The HSCCI recently received $5 million in state funding at the recommendation of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.

"Over the last three years and during some of the most difficult economic conditions in generations, the Rochester region has outperformed the rest of the state and much of the nation in job growth," said Seligman. "This is due, in great part, to the ability of our region's leaders to come together and rally behind the investments necessary to catalyze future growth. The University of Rochester is proud to be playing a role in the transformation of our region into a national leader in technological innovation and we remain committed to efforts to accelerate job growth and strengthen our region's quality of life."