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Report: UMass System Generates $8.3 Billion in Economic Activity

AMHERST — The five-campus University of Massachusetts system generated a record $8.3 billion in economic activity and supported nearly 40,000 external jobs across Massachusetts, according to a new Donahue Institute report.

“The scope of the operations on our five nationally ranked research universities has a profound impact on the Massachusetts economy overall and every region of the Commonwealth,” UMass President Marty Meehan said. “As the state’s top workforce-development engine, which educates more students than any other college or university in Massachusetts, and as one of the state’s three largest research universities, the university’s economic contribution touches every community.”

The analysis found that the economic impact generated by the five-campus UMass system translates into a 9-to-1 return on the state investment in the university. According to the report, each of the five university campuses generated a significant economic impact for its region and the state. By campus or unit, the figures were:

• UMass Amherst: $2.9 billion and 13,222 external jobs;
• UMass Boston: $1.2 billion and 5,516 external jobs;
• UMass Dartmouth: $618.3 million and 2,960 external jobs;
• UMass Lowell: $1.2 billion and 5,588 external jobs;
• UMass Chan Medical School: $2.2 billion and 10,872 external jobs; and
• Central Administration: $241.6 million and 1,339 external jobs.

The major drivers of economic impact are student, faculty, and staff spending; construction projects; and the university’s purchase of goods and services required for university operations.

“As a center of undergraduate and professional education, as well as research and innovation, the University of Massachusetts is a key driver of the Commonwealth’s economy and workforce, helping to set Massachusetts apart as it competes both domestically and globally,” said Mark Melnik, the Donahue Institute’s director of Economic and Policy Research.

Besides the spending captured in the economic-impact formula, the report highlights several other UMass contributions to the Massachusetts economy, including:

• More than 330,000 of the university’s alumni live in Massachusetts, contributing skills and knowledge to the economy, purchasing goods and services from Massachusetts businesses, and paying local and state taxes.

• Each year, the university’s five campuses award approximately 20,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Among the UMass class of 2022 were 4,065 business majors, 2,328 nurses and other health professionals, 1,828 engineers, 1,458 computer and information-science professionals, 1,342 biological and biomedical science majors, and 902 educators. Nearly three-quarters of UMass undergraduates are working in Massachusetts five years after graduation.

• The university’s five campuses house more than 90 core research facilities that are made available to small and medium-sized Massachusetts companies to accelerate their job-creating research and development activity. Users of the core facilities make a $364 million contribution to the Massachusetts’ economy, beyond the $8.3 billion cited in this report.

• The university’s $813 million research enterprise — the third-largest behind Harvard and MIT in Massachusetts — results in patents and technology licensing that creates jobs in established companies and forms the basis for startup companies. In FY 2022, UMass inventions generated $41 million in licensing revenue for the university and 242 patent applications.

• UMass campuses attract thousands of people for campus tours, conferences, performances, and sporting events. These visitors and spectators generate significant economic benefits for Massachusetts through their spending for transportation, restaurants, lodging, cultural attractions, and retail shops, among others.