ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The University of Rochester has more than doubled its impact on the regional economy over the last 14 years, according to a new report by the Center for Governmental Research.

The study, based on information from up to 2019, revealed that UR is the largest private employer in Upstate New York, and the seventh largest private employer in the state.

The analysis found that the job impact from UR, both in terms of direct employment and adjacent spillover employment, has more than doubled since CGR started compiling the reports in 2006, and sustains a total of nearly 68,000 jobs in the New York state economy.

Other findings in the CGR report include:

  • In 2019, the University had 32,408 employees (28,261 full time equivalents), a growth of 5 percent since 2017;
  • The University paid $2.2 billion in wages in 2019, and was responsible for $4.7 billion in direct and spillover income;
  • Over the last five years, the University has averaged about $324 million annually in capital investment spending, providing steady employment to the region’s construction industry;
  • Spending and employment contributed $300 million in sales, income, and property taxes in 2019;
  • The University attracts an average of $425 million in external research funding per year; and
  • The University purchased goods and services totaling approximately $1.3 billion in 2019.

The report also addresses new UR initiatives, including:

  • The University’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics has proposed building a next-generation laser user facility dedicated to the study of ultrahigh intensity laser-matter interactions. CGR estimates the $145 million project, called EP-OPAL, will create 250-270 new jobs and increase annual research funding by $10-12 million. 
  • The new $227 million UR Medicine Ambulatory Orthopedics Center at Marketplace Mall, the largest off-campus capital project in the UR history, will create almost 1,000 construction jobs.
  • The Wilmot Cancer Institute’s campaign to regain National Cancer Institute designation will not only help reduce the significant burden of cancer on our region, but generate growth in research and clinical activities that are estimated to create 1,900 jobs. 

“The growth in the University’s scientific, education, and healthcare missions, fueled by public support and philanthropy, generates a significant impact on the region’s economy in the form of innovation, entrepreneurship, and employment,” said Sarah Mangelsdorf, president of the University of Rochester. “At the same time, we recognize that the University has a broader responsibility to improve the lives and health and work with community partners to revitalize the City of Rochester and build bridge to economic opportunity.”

The report is the eighth in a series of biennial assessments by CGR of the employment and payroll, capital expenditures, purchasing, student and visitor spending, and tax impact of the University of Rochester, UR Medicine, and its affiliates.  UR Medicine affiliates include Highland Hospital, F.F. Thompson, Noyes Health, St. James Hospital, and Jones Memorial Hospital, and many of those institutions are the largest employers in their respective communities.

“The University’s economic significance cannot be captured by the simple sum of jobs and payroll,” said Kent Gardner, principal and chief economist for CGR, “Through its diversity of employment opportunities –from direct patient care at Golisano Children’s Hospital through cutting edge research at the Wilmot Cancer Center or Laboratory for Laser Energetics—UR offers a career ladder for residents and a reason for global talent to relocate to Rochester. As the center of Rochester’s cultural life, it also supports the retention of our most talented residents, a key element of community stability.”

“The University of Rochester serves as a critical engine to drive business growth throughout the Greater Rochester, NY region, providing world-class R&D assets and well-trained students to fuel the community’s talent pipeline,” said Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise. “We value UR’s partnership and investment in Greater Rochester Enterprise’s initiatives to foster the growth of the regional economy.”

Full report