NMSU brings millions to the state’s economy

Janet Pere

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University’s impact on the state continues to be significant, particularly in these difficult economic times, according to a new report released today by NMSU President Barbara Couture.

The study, “The Economic Impact of New Mexico State University in 2010,” determined that NMSU had generated:

  • Jobs (full- and part-time): 9,558
  • Gross Domestic Product: $902.4 million
  • Total personal income: $809.8 million
  • Disposable Personal Income: $731.5 million
  • State Tax Revenue: $65.8 million

The estimated impacts reflect only the contributions to the state economy associated with out-of-state funding, which is estimated to be 37.7 percent of total NMSU funding.

The study was conducted by the university’s economic development hub, the Arrowhead Center, at Couture’s request.

“This study validates our long-standing belief that NMSU is a major economic engine for this state,” Couture said. “After all, our reach is felt throughout the state and across many industries.”

As a land-grant institution, NMSU has campuses in Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Grants, and a separate Las Cruces campus for Doña Ana Community College. In addition, NMSU operates a satellite-learning center in Albuquerque, extension offices in all 33 New Mexico counties, as well as 13 science and research centers located throughout the state.

In tabulating the data, Jim Peach, lead researcher and NMSU economics professor, excluded funding sources such as state appropriations and resident student spending. Instead, out-of-state funding sources such as non-resident tuition and fees, along with federal government appropriations grants and contracts were utilized to gauge NMSU’s economic impact. The data used for the study was culled from surveys of students, faculty and staff, university expenditure records, and state and U.S. Census data.

The study identified seven areas where institutions of higher learning make major economic impacts: the purchases of goods and services; spending on construction; the expenditures of students; the expenditures of university faculty and staff; spending by out-of-state visitors to the university campuses; the additional earnings of alumni who remain in the state; in-state travel expenditures; and the economic development activities of the university.

The number of faculty supported by out-of-state funding stood at 2,173 in 2010, which generated 738 additional staff positions for a total of 2,911 full- or part-time jobs in New Mexico. In addition, NMSU employment and earnings supported by out-of-state funding brought in almost $85 million to the state’s GDP, $73 million in personal income, $65 million in disposable personal income and 583 new residents.

NMSU students from out-of-state also contributed to the economy by spending almost $90 million in 2010, which resulted in 773 full- or part-time jobs, $30.5 million more in personal income, almost $26 million more in disposable personal income, $45.3 million added to the GDP and 18 new residents.

In 2010, NMSU purchases of goods and services made with out-of-state funds totaled more than $49 million throughout its locations. Those purchases resulted in 723 full- or part-time jobs, $35.6 million in GDP, $21.3 million in personal income and 176 new residents.

NMSU’s greatest contribution to the economy, according to the study, came from its alumni who chose to remain in the state. As of December 2010, there were 49,269 NMSU alumni living in the state. Economic data has consistently shown that, in general, college graduates across the nation earn and spend more than those who have less education. New Mexico is no exception.

According to data from the 2009 American Community Survey, a person with a bachelor’s degree in New Mexico earned $52,139, compared to the average high school graduate who earned $32,433. The same survey found that high school graduates in New Mexico had an unemployment rate of almost 7 percent in 2009, compared to 3.3 percent for people with a bachelor’s degree and 2.3 percent for those with an advanced degree.

Thanks to the increased earnings and spending of Aggie alumni, the NMSU study found that in 2010 the state’s economy generated 4,402 full- or part-time jobs, $659 million in personal income, $598 million in disposable personal income, $696 million in GDP and 937 new residents.

The full economic impact report is available at http://www.nmsu.edu/president

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