New York’s private colleges contributed $63.2 billion to the state economy in 2011, according to a public policy group’s economic analysis.
In upstate alone, independent, not-for-profit colleges had an economic impact of $22.8 billion last year, including $4.9 billion in the Finger Lakes, $4.7 billion in the Southern Tier, $4.3 billion in the mid-Hudson Valley and $1.3 billion in western New York, according to the Center for Governmental Research.
“This is good for the economy directly—as it provides employment for skilled professionals—and indirectly, as this enhances the capacity of New York’s workforce to confront the challenges of the 21st century,” the Rochester-based center’s chief research officer Kent Gardner said in a statement.
The total economic impact is an increase of $8.9 billion, or 16.4 percent, from 2009, according to the report, released Tuesday.
The state’s more than 100 private colleges employ 180,600 people in New York, with a payroll that exceeds $12.2 billion annually, the report said. Of that, 78,700 employees live in upstate New York, with a payroll of $5.1 billion.
Direct institutional spending exceeded $50 billion, the report said, and students and college visitors spent $4.3 billion.
Nearly 1.3 million students enroll annually at colleges and universities in New York state. In fall 2010, about 488,180 attended private, not-for-profit schools.
“Higher education remains one of New York state’s most significant economic sectors,” Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities President Laura Anglin said in a statement.
The commission is a statewide association representing public policy interests of New York’s private colleges.
“Private, not-for-profit higher education is the source a large number of jobs,” Anglin said. “Our colleges and universities are significant customers for local vendors, especially when it comes to construction. They are anchor tenants, talent magnets, workforce and innovation catalysts and community partners.”
The public higher education system, the State University of New York, had an economic impact of $19.8 billion in 2008-09, a report last year stated.
See a regional breakdown of the private colleges’ impact here: Economic Impact