A new study reveals the depth and reach of UCLA’s contribution to the economic vitality of Southern California and the state overall. The report, by the Sacramento-based consultancy Center for Strategic Economic Research, found that UCLA was responsible for more than $12.7 billion in economic impact annually.
CSER analyzed UCLA’s operations during the 2011–12 fiscal year. Its report, “Economic Impacts of the University of California, Los Angeles,” measured the influence of dollars created and spent by the campus within Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties) as well as for the entire state.
UCLA is one of the five largest employers in Southern California, providing full- and part-time employment for 42,000 people. UCLA’s direct economic output, including employee compensation, operating expenditures, and spending by students and visitors, is $5.6 billion. When taking into account the ripple effect of that output — for example, factoring in employees’ spending and the impact on companies that supply goods and services to the campus — UCLA’s overall impact is $12.7 billion, and the campus supports an additional 53,000 jobs in Southern California.
“As one of the nation’s leading public research universities and the largest university in California, UCLA contributes mightily to the economic health of our state,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Not only are we one of the top employers in Los Angeles, but our diverse range of activities spurs a tremendous amount of additional investment, innovation and job creation throughout the region.”
The report also calculated the economic impact of the UCLA Health System (which includes four hospitals and a faculty practice group) and UCLA Health Sciences (which includes schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry and public health). With a direct output of $3.2 billion and a workforce of 21,000 full- and part-time employees, the organizations have a combined economic impact $7.7 billion, and help support an additional 32,000 jobs.
Beyond the $12.7 billion in economic activity generated by the campus’s core activities, UCLA stimulates the regional and state economy through the licensing of technology developed by its researchers and by serving as an incubator for startup companies. During the 2011–12 fiscal year, UCLA took in $1 billion in public and private sponsored research grants, had 668 active patents and, through startup companies begun at UCLA, accounted for 4,411 jobs and an additional $1.1 billion in economic output.
UCLA delivers a significant return on investment for California taxpayers. For every dollar the state government invests in UCLA, the university generates $34 in economic activity. The campus generated $1.2 billion in federal taxes, $313 million in state taxes and $300 million in local taxes. Included in those figures are tax revenue generated by the UCLA Health System and UCLA Health Sciences: $761 million in federal taxes, $197 million at the state level and $189 million locally, according to the report.
“UCLA is an incredible engine for our city and state,” said Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. “Not only does UCLA generate more than $12 billion in economic activity, it also produces some of the smartest and most creative alumni in the world.”
UCLA has nearly 400,000 living alumni, 72 percent of whom live in California. Among its faculty and alumni are 13 Nobel laureates, 12 MacArthur fellows, and 12 Rhodes scholars. Its athletic teams have won 109 NCAA titles and students and alumni have earned 250 Olympic gold medals. UCLA is among the top 10 universities in the (London) Times Higher Education world reputation rankings and UCLA’s hospitals are rated by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top five.
More information about the study and a complete copy of the report are available at the UCLA Economic Impact website.