University of Nebraska’s economic impact grows to $5.8 billion

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) –  The University of Nebraska grows the state’s economy by $5.8 billion every year, according to an analysis by Tripp Umbach, a national consultant with expertise in economic impact studies.

Tripp Umbach told the Board of Regents Friday morning, the NU System generates $9 for every $1 the state invests.  The finding shows a significant increase from the 7-to-1 return on investment the university created in 2019.

All four UN campuses grew their impact throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As Nebraska recovers from the pandemic – and faces an urgent workforce challenge of 50,000-plus open jobs, including critical openings in health care and STEM fields – an affordable, accessible, competitive public university will continue to be a key part of the solution,” NU System President Ted Carter said.

Among Tripp Umbach’s key findings:

  • The university’s $5.8 billion annual impact shows an increase from the $4.5 billion impact calculated in 2019.
    • The activities of NU campuses, faculty, staff, students, along with the resulting ripple effects in communities across the state, add almost $16 million to Nebraska’s economy every day.
  • The University of Nebraska sustains a highly skilled workforce for the state, supporting 1 of every 27 jobs in Nebraska.
    • The 47,000-plus jobs supported by the university include NU employees and Nebraskans who have jobs as a result of university activities.
  • Approximately 1 of every 7 working-age Nebraskans holds an NU degree, and 11,000 new NU graduates enter the workforce every year.
  • The earnings and spending activities of university alumni add $2.9 billion to the state’s economy annually.
  • NU employees and students contribute $100 million annually in charitable donations and volunteer services, like student-led service activities, free health screenings, scholarly lectures and more. NU’s campuses also offer activities that enhance Nebraskans’ cultural understanding and build connections among citizens, including concerts, art exhibits and athletic events.
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