June 9, 2004

Economic impact report highlights McMaster University’s impact on Hamilton’s economy

Hamilton, ON - McMaster University generated $670 million of provincial economic activity, and $455 million of economic activity in Hamilton, says a report released today by the University.

The report, prepared for the University by PriceWaterhouseCoopers based on data from 2001, shows that with operating expenditures of over $477 million McMaster was responsible for creating 14,500 person-years of employment province-wide, with 11,600 person-years in Hamilton. The operating budget created $670 million of provincial economic activity, $455 million in Hamilton.

McMaster is Hamilton's sixth largest employer with approximately 3,500 full-time equivalent academic and support staff. Annual operations generate government revenues in excess of $201 million, with almost $139 million of that accruing from within the Hamilton economy.

“Hamilton and McMaster are like two parts of the same ecosystem,” Peter George, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, told a luncheon hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Business Development Committee. “We sustain each other without ever getting together and acknowledging the depth and power of our symbiotic partnership.”

The total value of current and planned capital projects is almost a third of a billion dollars. The impact of projects include:

* Gross Provincial Product $396 million, with $234 million of that economic activity within Hamilton
* Economic activity will generate 5,400 person-years of employment province-wide, with almost 2,800 of these person-years realized in the city.
* Governments revenues, locally, provincially and federally, from University construction activity in excess of $133 million, with almost $84 million locally

Since moving to Hamilton in 1930, McMaster has produced over 100,000 alumni who live in almost 130 different countries McMaster has a full-time student body, including undergraduate and graduate students, of almost 19,000 and a part-time and summer session contingent that pushes total student population to well over 27,000.

“Almost two-thirds of our students come from outside the immediate Hamilton region,” said the University’s president, who is also an economist. These students also attract additional visitors. Conservative estimates suggest that these students and their visiting friends and family spend approximately $101 million in our community annually. That, in turn, creates almost 2,100 person-years of employment and total government revenues amounting to over $26 million.

Province-wide economic activity stimulated by McMaster University generate:

• $120 million in federal government revenues
• $70 million for the Province of Ontario
• $12 million for various local governments

George said the City of Hamilton has done a good job of predicting the city’s direction with its recently-updated economic cluster strategy. “It is no coincidence that every one of the City's identified clusters can be connected to McMaster University's strengths and strategic research priorities. Additionally, two-thirds of the original clusters - industrial manufacturing; agri-business; health and biotechnology; and information and communications technology - depend heavily on McMaster's research strengths.“

McMaster continues to be recognized internationally for research. The 2003 Academic Ranking of World Universities places Mac in the top 100 universities in the world for academic and research performance - one of only four Canadian universities on the list. Another example is Research Infosource which ranked McMaster third in Canada by research intensity and second in the category of "Research University of the Year."

“McMaster’s real benefit to the community is not numbers and dollars,” George said. “It is how the University transfers knowledge, educates students and undertakes research.”