A new study looking at the economic benefits of Hattiesburg-based University of Southern Mississippi on the state’s economy has determined that the school has a $603 million impact, the Hattiesburg American reported.
The newspaper details the findings which were released Thursday during a news conference at the school.
The newspaper reports that this was the first independent study of the university’s impact on the state. It was conducted by Tripp Umbach, a global consulting firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“Many business owners and residents of the greater south Mississippi area have long known the University of Southern Mississippi was a big economic driver, but they have not been able to quantify that number,” said Chad Driskell, vice president for external affairs.
The Trent Lott Center has had economic data at hand for a number of years, but university President Rodney Bennett said they wanted an independent analysis.
“I knew the University of Southern Mississippi has always been a robust institution,” he said. “I wasn’t surprised when I saw the numbers. (The study) just provides the data that supports what many people have known all along.”
The study found Southern Miss creates and supports more than 7,153 jobs and generates $33 million per year in tax revenue.
The study measured direct, indirect and induced effects of the university on the region. A direct impact, for example, would be an investment in construction and expenditures for operations, while a purchase from an area supplier would qualify as an indirect impact. An induced impact would be the household spending resulting from earnings of direct and indirect expenditures.
More than $280 million of the impact total was found to be direct.
Bennett said the study shows the university is having an impact and could help with fundraising.