YSU’s economic impact nearly $1 billion a year

University supports 15,688 jobs, sparks significant ROI for students and taxpayers

Youngstown State University students, alumni and visitors, along with research, construction and entrepreneurial activities, pump nearly $1 billion into the five-county regional economy every year, supporting close to 16,000 jobs, a new study says.

In addition, YSU generates nearly six times more in tax dollars than it spends, and the university’s return on investment for students outperforms the U.S. stock market, the report concludes.

“This study confirms what all of us have known for quite some time - YSU is a major driver of the region’s economy and plays an enormous role in the educational, economic and social well-being of the greater Mahoning and Shenango valley area,” YSU President Jim Tressel said.

“This study not only affirms the substantial role YSU plays in creating economic opportunity across the region, it also provides solid, quantifiable evidence of the long-term value of a YSU education,” said James Dignan, president and chief executive of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.

The report, “Economic Impact and Return on Investment of Education for YSU,” was commissioned by YSU and conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International, a leading provider of economic impact studies for more than 1,800 educational institutions in four countries.

YSU means jobs 15,688 Regional Jobs are either held by YSU employees / graduates, or are the direct result of spending by the university, its employees, students or graduates.

The study examined the impact YSU has on the five-county Mahoning and Shenango valley region - Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio, and Mercer and Lawrence Counties in Pennsylvania. It also examined YSU’s return on investment for students, taxpayers and society in general

“The university benefits local businesses by increasing consumer spending in the region and supplying a steady flow of qualified, trained workers into the workforce,” the report says. “It enriches the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual poten­tial. It benefits state and local taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services. Finally, it benefits society as a whole by creating a more prosperous economy and generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students across their working careers.”

YSU generates more tax dollars than it spends. In 2016-17, Ohio provided $54 million in support of YSU, while during the same year, YSU generated $271 million in added taxes for the five-county region.

Among the findings:

  • YSU’s overall annual impact on the regional business community amounted to $923.9 million in added income in fiscal year 2016-17.
  • YSU supported 15,688 total jobs in 2016-17, or one out of every 23 jobs in the five-county YSU region, including 3,710 in the healthcare/social assistance industry, 1,472 in the government/non-education sector, and 900 in the manufacturing sector.
  • For every $1 students invest in a YSU education, they get back a cumulative $5.20 in increased lifetime earnings.
  • While the S&P 500 has delivered an average annual return of 10.1 percent over the last 30 years, the average annual return on investment for YSU students will amount to 15 percent.
  • For every $1 taxpayers invest in YSU, $5.50 in added tax revenues is generated.
  • While the state of Ohio allocated $54 million to support YSU in 2016-17, the university generated $271 million in benefits to taxpayers.
  • YSU spent $915,000 on payroll to support research activities in 2016-17, creating a net total of $3.1 million in added income for the regional economy.
  • Start-up companies associated with YSU added nearly $30 million to the regional economy in 2016-17.
  • Visitors to the YSU campus from outside the region generated a net impact of $1.3 million in added income in 2016-17.
  • For every $1 that society invested in a YSU education in 2016-17, society received a cumulative $11.70 in benefits, i.e. reduced crime, lower unemployment, increased health and well-being.

“We here at YSU are very cognizant of the central role we play in helping this region and, most important, the role we play in helping to turn students into professional, successful and productive members of society,” Tressel said. “It’s a role that requires a lot of work, vision and responsibility. It’s also rewarding and humbling. As always, we thank all of our alumni, our supporters throughout the region, our parents, faculty, staff, administrators, and our students, for making us proud - Y and proud.”

About the Study
Data and assumptions used in the study are based on several sources, including the FY 2016-17 academic and financial reports from YSU, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of Emsi’s Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior. The study applies a conserva­tive methodology and follows standard practice using only the most recognized indicators of investment effectiveness and economic impact. For a full description of the data and approach used in the study, please contact YSU for a copy of the full report.

About Emsi
Emsi is a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers in the United States and internationally. Since 2000, Emsi has completed more than 1,80 economic impact studies for educational institutions in four countries. Visit www.economicmodeling.com for more information about Emsi’s products and services.