Economy News
Inaugural Economic Impact Report Reflects UC Merced’s Regional Contributions

Posted:  January 28, 2021  • UC Merced

MERCED, CA — UC Merced’s economic impact on its community and region has been quantified in its first independently conducted economic impact report.

Commissioned by Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz, the report examines UC Merced’s role in Merced County and the San Joaquin Valley’s economies for 2018-2019, the most recent year for which full data was available. Using key indicators such as salaries and spending, the report illustrates the role UC Merced plays in the valley’s changing landscape. “Like the Merced community, UC Merced is a dynamic institution with change on the horizon as we grow and expand,” said Chancellor Muñoz. “As we do so, it is important to show our community that the promise of siting a University of California campus here is bearing fruit.”

This study, conducted by international market analytics firm Emsi Inc., measures the impact of UC Merced on the economy and the benefits the university generates in return for the investments made by its key stakeholder groups — students, taxpayers, and society. The benefits created by UC Merced extend to state and local governments through increased tax revenues and public sector savings. Please find some key findings below*:

• The net impact of the university’s operations spending added $206.7 million in income to the regional economy in FY 2018-19.

• The net impact of UC Merced’s former students currently employed in the regional workforce amounted to $35 million in added income in FY 2018-19. 

• UC Merced employed 1,421 full-time and part-time faculty and staff and payroll amounted to $194.7 million (excluding grant-funded employees). Much of this was spent in the region for groceries, mortgage and rent payments, dining out, and house¬hold expenses.

 • Research activities at UC Merced impact the regional economy by employing people and making purchases for equipment, supplies, and services. In FY 2018-19, UC Merced’s research spending generated $38.6 million in added income for the San Joaquin Valley economy.

• In 2018-19, UC Merced added $514.6 million to the San Joaquin Valley economy. Expressed in terms of jobs, UC Merced’s impact supported 5,560 jobs. For Merced County alone, the numbers are equally impressive: $372.9 million and 4,109 jobs. * All results reflect employee, student, and financial data, provided by the university, for fiscal year (FY) 2018-19. Impacts on the Merced County economy are reported under the economic impact analysis and are measured in terms of added income. The returns on investment to students, taxpayers, and society in California are reported under the investment analysis.

The University of California is a major contributor to the state’s vitality, generating $82 billion in economic activity per year and supporting more than half a million jobs as the state’s third-largest employer. Beacon Economics also conducted an independent analysis of UC’s economic and fiscal impacts on California, drawn largely from the 2018-19 fiscal year.

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