Temple feeds billions into
Pa., regional economies
Ways Temple generates
money, jobs for region
Total economic impact:
$2.7 billion per year
• operational spending: $850 million and 6,439 jobs
• employee spending: $1.09 billion and 5,299 jobs
• student and visitor spending: $631 million and 5,212 jobs
• construction: $95.5 million and 868 jobs
Temple University generates billions of dollars for the economies of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Delaware Valley and the city of Philadelphia, according to recent findings by Econsult Corp., a Philadelphia economic analysis firm.
Temple’s annual direct expenditures — which include operational spending on goods and services, the salaries and pension benefits of faculty and staff, spending by students and visitors and construction expenditures — were calculated to generate an annual total of $3.1 billion in the economy of Pennsylvania, $2.7 billion in the region and $1.5 billion in Philadelphia.
According to Econsult, the annual economic impact of Temple’s operations accounts for one out of every 50 dollars spent in the city each year.
“This report confirms that Temple University is one of the most important economic drivers in the commonwealth,” President David Adamany said. “It also confirms that investing in Temple is good for the region and the city.”
Temple’s spending also supports tens of thousands of jobs. Temple’s annual expenditures were estimated to generate 29,686 jobs in the state, 25,924 jobs in the region and 13,812 jobs in the city.
Econsult did not include the economic impact of the Temple University Health System in its calculations.
The positive effects of Temple’s direct expenditures are compounded by what Econsult calls “indirect spending” and “induced spending,” which are included in its estimates of Temple’s total impact. Each dollar spent by Temple and its staff, students and visitors is re-spent in the region by Temple’s suppliers when they restock. In addition, the people who become employed as a result of Temple’s activities spend money in the region.
“Those who wish to see Temple’s economic impact on the region need only take a walk around our Main Campus,” Adamany said. “If you do so, you will see new restaurants, new shops and about $108 million in private residential development since 2002.”
Adamany expects the University’s economic impact to expand.
“Temple is on the rise: Applications and enrollment are up, more students are living on or near our Main Campus, we have recruited more than 100 new faculty members, research funding is increasing, and we are in the midst of a $400 million facilities improvement campaign,” he said. “Because of this constant growth, the University’s economic contributions will only increase.”
Temple’s growing fiscal health also helped the University earn an improved grade from Standard & Poor’s. (Learn more about Temple’s Standard & Poor’s rating.)
One of the University’s largest direct economic inputs is spending by Temple’s 34,000 students, who annually inject $255 million directly into the regional economy — about a quarter of Temple’s total direct expenditures. Visitors to students spend another $22 million annually in the region.
In addition to calculating the economic impact of Temple’s annual expenditures, Econsult attempted to estimate the economic impact of Temple’s primary product: its graduates.
About 120,000 Temple graduates live in the greater Philadelphia region, where one in eight educated residents is a Temple alumnus. Their degrees make them more productive members of the labor force. Econsult estimated the value of this increased productivity by examining the increased wages and salaries earned by residents with Temple degrees. It was concluded that Temple graduates’ higher wage premiums generate a total of $10.7 billion in the state, $8.7 billion in the region and $2.4 billion in Philadelphia. The spending of wage premiums by Temple graduates generates an additional 42,386 jobs. (The estimated impact of graduates is not included in Econsult’s estimate of Temple’s total annual economic impact.)
Adamany stressed that some of Temple’s most significant effects on the economic vitality of the region are impossible to quantify.
“One can’t calculate the value to the image of our region created by the publications, lectures or media appearances by our distinguished faculty,” Adamany said. “Nor can one measure the market value of community partnerships, sports programs for disadvantaged children or training opportunities created by Temple’s research centers. Yet these intangible economic impacts are central to the University’s mission and a source of great pride.”
– By Hillel J. Hoffmann
Related story: Temple’s credit rating with S&P improves