Thompson Rivers University

TRU’s economic impact to the region over $705 million annually

  Posted on: October 2, 2019

KAMLOOPS—Thompson Rivers University (TRU) released the results of its latest economic impact study, indicating one in every nine jobs in the Thompson, Nicola and Cariboo region, and one in 150 jobs in the province is supported by the activities of TRU and its students.

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.

Through TRU’s daily operations and the activities of students and alumni, it’s estimated the university contributes $705.3 million annually to the regional economy and $1.5 billion annually to the provincial economy.

“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.”

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 percent, over $489 million, of the total regional impact for the university.

Additionally, an investment in TRU, whether directly by students, government and donors, or indirectly, has measurable returns. 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 health care. 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.

To read the full results of the study, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Juli Holloway
Executive Communications Specialist
Thompson Rivers University

Media Relations & Communications

Darshan Lindsay
Business hours: 250-828-5362
After hours: 250-320-2813

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