Study: GSU's economic impact on region up 13.5%

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - Georgia Southern University had an economic impact of $795.3 million on nine southeast Georgia counties in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, according to a report released Tuesday.

Data from GSU's Economic Impact Report show the university increased its economic impact by more than 13.5 percent over the previous year, in addition to bringing more revenue and jobs to the area.

The report was compiled by the University's Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development and looks at  Georgia Southern's economic impact on Statesboro and Bulloch County, and Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, Candler, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins and Screven counties.

The biggest increase last year was in student spending. GSU's enrollment increased to more than 19,000 students and those students spent an estimated $301.8 million during that time, which is up 7 percent over last year.

Student spending accounted for about 41.3 percent of GSU's direct economic impact on the region. Students spent $65.5 million on off-campus housing, $36.6 million on food services and $49.9 million on entertainment, according to the report.

The university's total impact on employment was 9,206 jobs during the fiscal year, the study shows.

Researchers pointed out that the study does not take into account money spent by people traveling to the area for athletic events, student orientation, or conferences held at the university nor does it include research funding flowing through the university, according a GSU news release.

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