Penn State Hazleton $68.9 million impact on PA economy

April 24, 2009

Penn State's impact extends well beyond its teaching and research. In fact, Penn State is Pennsylvania's largest economic engine, generating more than $17 billion a year in overall economic impact and supporting more than 67,000 jobs.

In an independent report released April 23, data show that Penn State not only is fueling the growth of Pennsylvania by directly generating nearly $8.5 billion in economic impact but also influences an additional $8.7 billion through business services, research commercialization and the activities of alumni.

Included in the study are the far-reaching effects of all 24 Penn State campuses on the economy of the Commonwealth. Locally, Penn State Hazleton was responsible for $68.9 million of the $8.5 billion total and 443 jobs in the region.

Clearly, Penn State has positive effects on the Pennsylvania economy and contributes much to the economic vitality of the state. According to Gary Lawler, Penn State Hazleton chancellor, the economic impact of the campus extends beyond lower Luzerne County to include Carbon, Columbia, Monroe, Montour and Northumberland counties.

Of the $68.9 million impact, the direct impact of Penn State Hazleton is nearly $30 million. Direct impact measures the spending of principal groups such as institutional expenditures for capital improvements, goods and services; the spending of staff, faculty and technical service employees; spending of students; and the spending of visitors to the University.

In 2008, these direct impact figures for Penn State Hazleton included:
• $2.8 million spent by the campus for capital improvements, goods and services, and supplies;
• $5.3 million spent by faculty, staff and technical service employees;
• $11.9 million spent by Penn State Hazleton students. Overall, Penn State students spent more than $932 million in the Commonwealth in 2008.

These direct, first-round expenditures, received as income by businesses and individuals in the state, re-circulate through the economy in successive rounds of re-spending. The end result is a multiplied economic impact that is a linear result of the University’s presence and its spending patterns.

The economic impact of Penn State's operations and employment is only the first chapter in a powerful economic story that affects every community in the Commonwealth. State tax revenue generated by Penn State include those created as a result of Penn State’s operations, including payroll, institutional spending in the state’s economy and generation of incremental taxable dollars. This amount equaled $393.3 million in 2008, with $4.32 million coming from Penn State Hazleton.

It is estimated that Penn State employees donate more than $130 million annually in charitable donations and volunteer services within the Commonwealth.
The more than 250,000 alumni who reside in Pennsylvania generate $1.9 billion annually in additional economic impact, and produce $59 million in additional government revenue for the state.

Approximately 17,000 Penn State alumni own businesses in Pennsylvania, which directly employ more than 475,000 residents. The average wage of employees at companies owned by Penn State graduates is $9,800 higher than the average wage earner in Pennsylvania. This translates into more than $4.1 billion in additional expansion of the state’s economy and more than $125 million in additional government revenue for the Commonwealth annually.

Penn State ranks nationally as one of the 10 largest public research institutions, expending annually more than $700 million through its research activities. Research at Penn State supports more than 18,000 additional jobs in Pennsylvania, which generates more than $1.9 billion in additional economic impact and more than $61 million in additional revenue for the Commonwealth annually.

During 2008, the University engaged in research projects with more than 750 companies of which 250 were Pennsylvania-based companies — more than any other public university in the nation.

Penn State contributes in a variety of ways to the vitality of Pennsylvania's economy. According to the report, the University generated more than 2 percent of the state's business volume or more than $1 out of every $50 dollars in the state's total economy. In addition, Penn State leverages its state funding. For every dollar invested in 2008 by the Commonwealth to support the operations of Penn State, the University returned $25.06 in economic impact to Pennsylvania.

The four-month study by Pittsburgh-based Tripp Umbach indicates that Penn State's impact far outweighs other industries in the state. With the total direct, indirect and induced annual economic impact equaling more than $17 billion, the University currently creates more impact than the combined total impact of all of the state's airport hubs, professional sports teams, and arts and cultural organizations.

To view the report in its entirety, visit


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 27, 2009