Princeton University significant contributor and catalyst to New Jersey economy, quality of life

Originally posted January 10, 2017; by Susan Promislo, Office of Communications

Princeton University has a substantial impact on the New Jersey economy, generating an annual total of $1.58 billion in economic output as an employer, research and innovation leader, sponsor of construction projects, purchaser of goods and services, and financial and civic contributor to local communities. That total supports an estimated 13,450 jobs with $970.7 million in earnings.

The economic and other benefits the University generates within the town of Princeton and neighboring communities, Mercer County and the state of New Jersey are presented in a new report, "Education, Innovation and Opportunity: The Economic Impact of Princeton University." This study, conducted by Appleseed, an economic consulting firm, updates a 2008 analysis and provides a comprehensive look at the University's direct and indirect effects on the vitality of the local, regional and state economy in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. The study also identifies resources, services and opportunities that the University contributes to enhance the quality of life in its neighboring communities and throughout the region.

"Princeton University takes prides in its longstanding partnership with the communities that surround it," said University President Christopher L. Eisgruber. "Through on-campus learning opportunities, joint transportation and safety programs, community service projects, and initiatives that encompass the arts, entrepreneurship and many other areas, the University and its neighbors continue a vibrant tradition of cooperation founded on shared values, interests and histories."

Consistently ranked as one of central New Jersey's largest, most stable employers, the University employs a workforce of more than 6,900 people (excluding student employees). Of those employees, 58 percent live in the Princeton area or elsewhere in Mercer County and 80 percent reside in New Jersey. Princeton paid nearly $602 million in employee salaries and contributed an additional $24.8 million in New Jersey state income and unemployment insurance taxes and paid family leave insurance in fiscal year 2015. 

The study also found that the University's investments in research and entrepreneurship catalyze innovation throughout the state. As a major research institution, Princeton attracts hundreds of millions in federal research dollars to New Jersey each year, much of which is spent locally, to pursue solutions to pressing societal challenges. Research expenditures amounted to $457.6 million in fiscal year 2015 — a nearly 80 percent jump since 2007. Internal University resources allocated to research increased significantly, comprising 30 percent of the 2015 total. 

Research collaborations with leading New Jersey companies such as Siemens and Bristol-Myers Squibb and academic institutions including Rutgers University and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital further extend the impact of Princeton's research enterprise. In the last five years, the University has strengthened the state's innovation ecosystem through the launch of the Intellectual Property Accelerator Fund to advance researchers' proof-of-concept work, the Keller Center's eHub as a focal point for entrepreneurship, and the Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund to support alumni startups. 

"Princeton is committed to extending the benefits of its research capabilities and innovation beyond the campus, into companies and organizations that can translate ideas into practical solutions to improve social and economic well-being," said Coleen Burrus, Princeton's director of corporate engagement and foundation relations. "There are so many innovative companies right here in New Jersey, and the University is eager to continue to work with them to build research collaborations."

Continue to the full story on the Princeton homepage here.