UC Berkeley News


New report highlights campus's impact on the Bay Area
Alumni and faculty are cited as key players in the region's ‘knowledge-based’ economy

| 19 September 2007

A new economic-impact and social-benefits report documents UC Berkeley's contributions to the economy and quality of life for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and highlights the wide-ranging local to global impacts of campus research.

The report, "The Economic Impact and Social Benefits of the University of California, Berkeley," quantifies its findings using financial, demographic, and other data from the 2005-06 fiscal year.

The study reveals Berkeley's vital role in the Bay Area economy as a major employer and purchaser of goods and services in the region, with most of its revenues coming from outside the Bay Area and most of its spending remaining in the region to the benefit of the local economy. Berkeley's direct spending and payroll generate hundreds of millions of dollars of additional spending and thousands of additional jobs as dollars spent by the campus continue to circulate through the economy.

The report's key findings include these:

. Berkeley had revenues of $1.4 billion, of which approximately 71 percent came from outside the Bay Area.

. The campus spent more than $401 million on goods and serv­ices during the study period, with more than $135 million spent in the Bay Area. This includes about $31 million that went to vendors in the city of Berkeley.

. The campus payroll was almost $808 million, with some 96 percent of salaries going to Bay Area residents, including almost $314 million to employees living in the city of Berkeley. In addition, almost $145 million was paid out to UC Berkeley retirees, with about $50 million of it going to retirees living in the city of Berkeley.

. The campus spent about $144 million on capital projects, with close to $117 million, or 81 percent, for projects located in the city of Berkeley. Almost $27 million was spent on projects in Albany and Richmond.

. Berkeley students, 73 percent of whom live in the city of Berkeley, spent about $395 million in the Bay Area. About $282 million of that amount was spent in the city of Berkeley.

. As the largest employer in the city of Berkeley, as well as in the East Bay counties of Alameda and Contra Costa, the campus employs more people than the next nine largest employers in the city combined, providing jobs to 24,700 staff, including 9,700 students who work on campus.

. UC Berkeley's direct spending of more than $1 billion in the Bay Area generated another $464 million in spending and an additional 9,200 jobs for Bay Area residents.

. The campus attracts about 1 million visitors each year to its academic programs and resources, cultural and athletic events, conferences, and museums. These visitors contribute at least $30 million annually to the local economy.

. UC Berkeley's graduates and faculty research are central to the Bay Area's knowledge-based economy. Approximately 170,000 Berkeley alumni live in the Bay Area. Many alumni and faculty have founded companies in the region and are leaders in their fields. In the February 2006 issue of Inc. magazine, Carl Schramm rated Berkeley as one of "Five Universities You Can Do Business With," citing the transfer of technology from the campus to the marketplace. Noted Schramm, "Along with teaching and doing research, [these universities] seem to be in the business of inventing companies."

The report also notes Berkeley's benefits to society, from research in the public interest to local public-service programs to environmental policies.

Addressing the critical issues

For example, Berkeley research creates innovative products for the benefit of society, ranging from energy-saving technologies to improved freeway-traffic alerts. Faculty research and expertise address the critical issues facing the state, region, nation, and planet - from children's health problems to global warming to world poverty and disease.

In addition, Berkeley sponsors more than 200 community-service programs serving K-12 schools, youth and families, seniors, disabled persons, and underserved urban and rural neighborhoods. Annually, Berkeley faculty, staff, and students devote more than 300,000 hours to public service, serving about 250,000 people throughout the state.

In a section on environmental practices and policies, the report summarizes the campus's ongoing progress toward sustainability. Every year since 2002, Berkeley has been named one of the "Best Workplaces for Commuters" for offering cost-effective commuter benefits to employees. In 2006 the campus received a Flex Your Power Award - California's top energy-efficiency award.

The study, prepared by campus staff (with data analysis performed by CBRE Consulting in San Francisco), is available at www.berkeley.edu/econimpact.

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