A new study says Tulane University is the city's largest private employer and a major economic driver in the region, accounting for approximately $920 million in annual economic activity, and directly and indirectly creating 10,600 jobs throughout Louisiana. Appleseed, a New York-based economic development firm, conducted the study.
"This study quantifies Tulane University's importance to our city and state," Tulane University President Scott Cowen says. "It is gratifying to see these numbers and have empirical evidence of the contribution we make, especially in our hometown."
The study bases Tulane's economic impact on a variety of factors including the number of people it directly employs, 5,173 (excluding students); the number it employs through Tulane Medical Center, 1,764; the additional jobs created by its construction projects, research awards, purchases and student spending; the $9.9 million in annual state income taxes its payroll generates; and the more than $9 million in fees for water, sewer, building permits, etc., that it pays each year to state and local governments.
The study notes that Tulane attracts high-achieving students, well-paid faculty, staff and visitors to the city, all of whom make a positive impact on the local economy.
"Tulane is a major regional enterprise," says Hugh O'Neill, president of Appleseed. "Just as important, the university plays a central role in attracting and developing the 'human capital' on which the city's and the region's future depends."
While bringing an influx of newcomers to the city, Tulane is inextricably linked with the Crescent City. Almost a quarter of Tulane alumni are Louisiana residents and 30 percent of all New Orleans residents who have an associate, bachelor's or higher degree are graduates of Tulane, according to the study.
"Simply put, New Orleans would not be the same kind of city without Tulane," Cowen says, "And we would never be able to offer students the full richness of a Tulane education anywhere else in the world."
The full economic report and an executive summary are available online.