NU system said to grow the state economy by $5.8 billion

By: - February 12, 2022 7:16 am

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The University of Nebraska system contributes an annual $5.8 billion to the state’s economy, up from $4.5 billion in 2019, according to a consultant’s analysis that was released Friday.

Tripp Umbach, a national consultant on economic impact, detailed results of his research to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. He said the NU system generates $9 for every $1 invested by the state. He said that was an improvement over the 7-to-1 ratio of 2019.

President Ted Carter lauded the performance but said the university system must continue to look for solutions to a state workforce shortage and more than 50,000 open jobs, including in the health care and technology fields.

“This new analysis is the latest confirmation that the University of Nebraska is one of the largest drivers of economic and individual growth in our state,” said Carter.

Among the findings of the report was that about one of every seven working-age Nebraskans holds an NU degree, and 11,000 new NU graduates enter the workforce each year.  It reported that the NU system directly employed about 32,000 people. 

Earnings and spending of university alumni, the report said, add a reported $2.9 billion to the state’s economy annually, beyond the $5.8 billion impact. That $5.8 billion represents the direct, indirect and induced impact of spending that occurs as a result of the NU statewide presence.

The economic impact report does not include Nebraska Medicine and its affiliates. Here’s a breakdown by campus: University of Nebraska at Lincoln, $2.9 billion; University of Nebraska Medical Center; $1.5 billion; University of Nebraska at Omaha, $898 million; University of Nebraska at Kearney, $365 million; and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, $15 million.

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.