Counting the Ways
A newly released report points to UW–Madison’s impact on the state.
Call it the Bucky effect.
UW–Madison — along with its affiliated organizations and start-up companies — has a $15 billion impact on Wisconsin and supports 193,310 jobs, according to new data released this spring.
The report from NorthStar Consulting Group highlights the importance of the university to the state’s financial well-being during an ongoing and vigorous public debate about how big a cut the UW System can withstand in the coming two years to help balance the state budget.
UW–Madison’s economic impact on the state was measured in two ways. The first is direct spending by faculty, staff, students, visitors, and university operations. Visitors alone spend more than $650 million a year. Direct spending includes $234 million on food, $122 million on construction, $101 million at eating and drinking establishments, $100 million on insurance, and $77 million on auto repair and service, and $62 million given to churches and charities.
The second measure looks at businesses that benefit from that spending and how, in turn, their own spending results in jobs and tax revenue.
The university’s economic activity also generates $688 million in state and local tax revenue, and more than 40 percent of that comes from taxes UW–Madison faculty and staff pay on their incomes and the things they buy. The money that the campus community and visitors spend generates jobs, which then yield millions in income taxes, sales taxes, and property tax payments for Wisconsin.
The report was an update to a study that NorthStar has conducted six times since 1971.
Published in the Summer 2015 issue