The University of Memphis’ Economic Impact

By Jeff Wallace, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research

The University of Memphis is the largest institution of higher education in Memphis and the Mid-South. Memphis is a community that depends on the University of Memphis. The University drives the production of the next generation of workers and creates a positive force for advancing the community. The vast majority of the University’s students and graduates are actively engaged in the local labor market. The lifetime earnings, employment history, and community engagement create the future of the community. Highly educated workers are the factor that makes Memphis attractive for both new and existing employers.

 Additionally, the University of Memphis is one of the largest and most important economic engines for the economy each year. The economic impact analysis of 2018 expenditures looks at how the University impacted the local economy in one year. Every year the university operates it has a similar impact.  The University of Memphis expenditures for 2018 were $492 million and salaries were $215 million. In the absence of the University of Memphis, those injections into the local economy would go elsewhere.

 This presentation details the impact of University spending in 2018. It is only a partial impact report because it focuses only on expenditures not on the gains generated by providing higher education services for thousands of Memphians each year. Improving the quality of life in Memphis is a major role of the university and is never reflected in an analysis of the economic impact of spending alone.

Link to presentation.