Texas State economic impact on state pegged at almost $1 billion

By Mark Hendricks
University News Service
March 21, 2008

Texas State University-San Marcos has a statewide economic impact of almost $1 billion annually, according to an economic impact study released recently by the university.

The study was conducted by James P. LeSage, holder of the McCoy Endowed Chair in Urban and Regional Economics in the Department of Finance and Economics in Texas State’s McCoy College of Business Administration.

In his study, LeSage examined university spending and jobs created as a result of that spending in Hays County, the Central Texas region (defined as Hays County plus the counties of Bastrop, Bexar, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Travis and Williamson) and the entire state of Texas. The study is based on data collected for the 2006 fiscal year.

“This reinforces what we believed – that we are an important part of the economic lifeblood of the region and the state,” said Denise M. Trauth, president of Texas State. “It shows that we contribute significantly not only to the higher education aspirations of Texans, but to their economic interests as well.”

The study shows that in its home county of Hays, Texas State generates a total economic impact of $545 million annually and creates more than 9,300 full-time jobs. Regionally, those figures grow to an economic impact of $749 million and 11,530 jobs. At the state level, Texas State has a total economic impact of $960 million, while creating more than 13,800 jobs.

Roughly half of the nearly $1 billion total impact on the Texas economy arises from direct or indirect spending by the university and its employees. The remainder is the result of spending by students and visitors to the university.

With 2,600 full-time employees, Texas State is the largest single employer in Hays County. But with more than 9,300 jobs created in Hays County due to spending by the university, its employees, students and visitors, the study indicates that Texas State is responsible for the creation of one in every six jobs in the county.

“Given the university’s workforce and payroll, we knew it was an economic force in Hays County, but the study measures broader impacts on surrounding counties and the state. What we learned was that Texas State is an economic force of considerable importance at the regional and state level as well as in Hays County,” said LeSage.

LeSage holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Toledo and a doctorate in the same field from Boston College. Before joining the Texas State faculty, he served on the faculty of the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. He is president of the North American Regional Science Council and co-editor of Papers in Regional Science, the journal of the Regional Science Association International.