Thompson Rivers University

TRU’s economic impact in region over $705 million annually

October 2, 2019

Economic consultant Susan Hackett discusses some of the key points of the economic impact study for TRU for the 2018-19 year.

TRU released the results of its latest economic impact study, which helped the university better understand its contribution to the region and our province.

TRU engaged Emsi (Economic Modeling Specialist Intl.), a labour market analytics firm, to assess the economic impact of TRU to the region and the province it primarily serves. Overall, the analysis, which was based on data from the 2018-19 fiscal year, found that TRU positively influences the lives of its students, as well as the regional and provincial economies.

“It is well known that universities can positively affect the lives of students and the economy but this study has shown how far the reach of TRU goes and how lasting the impact of a university is,” said TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Brett Fairbairn.

“Not only is TRU one of the largest employers in the region, but students that graduate from our university earn higher incomes, contribute to the profitability of their workplaces, and contribute to the region through their day-to-day spending, generally living healthier lives with less reliance on government-supported services.”

Key findings from the study released today include:

• One in every nine jobs in the Thompson, Nicola and Cariboo region, and one in 150 jobs in BC are supported by the activities of TRU and its students (past and present)
• Annual value of TRU’s daily operations and the activities of students and alumni – $705.3 million to the region, $1.5 billion to the province
• For every dollar invested in their education, students gain $1.50 in higher earnings over the course of their working lives

The largest impacts are from alumni–students who graduated from the university and are using the knowledge and skills gained through university education to better themselves, their employers and workplaces, and the communities around them. These TRU graduates contribute to the wealth and prosperity of communities and their increased earnings account for nearly 70 per cent, over $489 million, of the total regional impact for the university.

For every dollar invested in TRU, taxpayers receive over $3 in added tax revenue and public sector savings over the course of the students’ working lives. Society gains more than $4 for every dollar spent, through added income and social savings from reduced crime and less reliance on healthcare. And for students, education results in higher earnings; for every dollar invested in their education, students gain $1.50 in higher earnings over the course of their working lives.

The Emsi study also analyzed the impact of capital projects recently or currently underway at TRU. From the start, capital projects impact the economy through short-term capital spending. Once the new facilities are operational, they bring additional revenue to the region and allow TRU to serve more students who contribute to the growing economy. As these students graduate, they help meet labour needs and increase the productivity of the regional and provincial workforce.

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