Los Angeles Business Journal

Study Says USC Responsible for $8 Billion Impact on California Economy

By Bridget Bones Thursday, March 9, 2017

An independently conducted study commissioned by USC found that the university spurs $8 billion in economic activity in California every year.

The report released Thursday shows the university is one of California’s strongest economic engines, and it detailed the multibillion dollar impact it has on local and state economies.

According to the Beacon Economics study, USC made powerful fiscal impacts on the California economy during the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

University operating expenses yielded almost $8 billion in economic activity across the state, with significant financial impacts stemming from capital projects and employee wages.

USC supports 42,315 jobs in the Los Angeles area and 53,000 jobs throughout California. These jobs accounted for $2.9 billion in wages and resulted in $455 million in tax revenue for local and state governments. USC-related student expenses exceeded $562 million in the local area. The school’s direct, indirect, and induced economic outputs contributed $6 billion in Southern California alone.

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, USC spent $514.2 million on projects to expand and improve campus amenities. The projects included the new 104,000-square-foot development for the Marshall School of Business, which was unveiled this past September.

The lasting impacts of this economic activity are anticipated to continue over the next decade, according to the study, and could generate up to $80 billion for the Southern California region.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise that one of the premier private universities in the country has such an outsized impact on the economy of Southern California,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, in a statement. “USC is a very significant asset to the region and the state.”

Bridget Bones can be reached at bbones@labusinessjournal.com.