October 23, 2000
Emory's economic impact
By Jan Gleason
In addition to its academic achievements, Emory has a significant economic
impact on Atlanta. The University is fueling the economic growth of metro
Atlanta with an annual contribution of $3.4 billion to the economywhich
is like having a Summer Olympics every 18 months in Atlanta.
According to Metro Atlanta Chamber estimates, that annual impact nearly
matches the impact of all major sporting events held in Atlanta during
a four-year period (1999-2003), including the NFL Super Bowl XXXIV, the
Atlanta Braves and dozens of other tournaments and championships. Emorys
"not-for-profit" status belies its striking contributions as
an engine of growth for Atlanta jobs and businesses.
The University spent $1.33 billion in metro Atlanta in 1999 on payroll,
direct purchases and construction. Spending by students, visitors and
retirees, on everything from groceries and clothes to movie tickets, raised
that figure to $1.5 billion. The ripple effect of that spending, as employees
in those industries earned paychecks and made their own purchases, increases
the economic impact of Emory dollars to nearly $3.4 billion.
Spending by the University, its faculty, students, visitors and retirees
generates another 26,447 jobs for local businesses. For every direct Emory
employee, theres at least one other Atlantan putting dinner on the
table with salary dollars that started at Emory. The indirect employment
figure means that more than 45,000 Atlanta workers depend on Emory directly
and indirectly for employmentequivalent to a city the size of Valdosta,
Ga. Another way to think of it is that, with 2.2 million jobs in the city,
Emory creates one out of every 50 jobs in Atlanta.
In 1999, Emory spent $62.6 million on construction projects, as many
of the upcoming projects were in the planning/development stage. The figure
represents 17 percent of the $362 million spent in DeKalb County for individual,
business and industry construction in the same period. Indirectly, these
projects yielded another $142.6 million to benefit Atlanta's economy.
The direct and indirect impact of Emory student spending in Atlanta,
then, totals $136.3 million-a healthy financial base for landlords,
restaurateurs and retailers across the city.
Visitors and Retirees
The total economic impact of visitors who come to Atlanta because of
Emory, $147.8 million, is roughly equal to the impact the city would receive
from hosting three Major League Baseball All-Star games each year. Retirees
of Emory spent $31.4 million, and those dollars indirectly led to another
$29.2 million of impact on the economy.
Commitment to Health
Emory has longstanding relationships with Grady Hospital, the VA Medical
Center and Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston in patient
care, teaching and research. Collectively, the system provides $9.3 million
in charity care annually.
About the Study