Report: SUNY Contributes $28.6 Billion to New York State Economy

State University of New York’s Economic Impact Up 27 Percent Since 2008
New Rockefeller Institute Report Finds That SUNY Produces More than a Third of the State’s College-Educated Workforce


Albany, NY — A new report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government finds that the State University of New York is a key driver of the state’s economic engine, contributing $28.6 billion annually to the state’s economy and graduating a large share of its educated workforce. 

The report, “The Economic Impact of the State University of New York,” finds that SUNY’s overall economic impact in New York has grown 27 percent since 2008. If SUNY were a private company, it would be among the state’s top ten employers, supporting nearly 180,000 direct and indirect jobs annually.
“The State University of New York is a vital and growing part of the New York State economy,” said Rockefeller Institute President Jim Malatras. “State investments in SUNY over the past several years targeting bottom-up economic growth, commercialization, expanded access, and next-generation workforce training have helped increase SUNY’s impact in every region and industry in the state. Our continuing research on SUNY’s economic impact will help the system chart its future, as well as inform higher education and workforce strategies well beyond New York.”
The findings include:

+ Thirty-four percent of the state’s college educated workforce holds a degree from a SUNY institution.

+ The state sees a return on investment of $8.17 for every $1 invested in SUNY.

+ There are currently 1,781,000 SUNY graduates participating in the state’s workforce.

+ SUNY touches every industry in the state, but has the largest impacts in the higher education, scientific research and development (R&D), and hospital industries.

+ SUNY is among the top ten largest employers in every Economic Development Council region in the state, excluding New York City.

+ New York ranks second nationwide in academic R&D, with colleges and universities performing $5.8 billion in research; SUNY campuses generate 22 percent of that total, or 1.2 billion annually.

+ SUNY’s $920 million in sponsored research has resulted in:

– 68 patents;

– 236 patent applications;

– 308 invention disclosures;

– 93 operating high-tech companies and 13 spinoffs;

– $10.7 million in licensing income.

Future studies by the Rockefeller Institute will examine in more detail how SUNY graduates move into New York’s industries, the effectiveness of SUNY at meeting the demand of the state’s employers, and how a SUNY degree affects individual earnings.
The report was authored by Dr. Laura Schultz, director of fiscal analysis and senior economist at the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Read the full report.