The University of Rochester has added 9,000 employees over the last decade, making it the 5th largest private sector employer in the state, and the largest employer in Upstate New York, a new report from the Center for Governmental Research shows.

Photo credit: University of Rochester

Since the last CGR report in 2016, UR has grown by 2,300 full-time employees, a 9 percent increase. It has made capital investments of more than $2.7 billion, including major projects such as the Saunders Research Building, Golisano Children’s Hospital, Wegmans Hall/Goergen Institute for Data Science, UR Medicine’s Imaging & Autism Care Center, and the NextCorps high tech business incubator in the Sibley Building.

Thirty-three start-ups were formed based on UR research over the last decade; 76 percent of them remain open for business, significantly higher than the 47% national average.

“The University of Rochester has long played a vital role in the Rochester economy,” said Mike Silva, CGR data analyst and lead investigator on the study. “It directly employs 27,000 full-time equivalent staff, and its spending supports a substantial number of other jobs in the region.

“Moreover, its impact extends beyond just economics. It improves the quality of life in our region.”

The report notes that education and health care have become a major component of New York’s economy with 20 percent of all jobs and 15 percent of all income in state attributable to the two sectors. Six of the top 10 largest private sector employers in the state are universities/academic health centers or health systems.

“The role that higher education and healthcare play in communities such as Rochester has evolved over the last decade,” said UR President Richard Feldman. “Much of the growth detailed in this report is due in great part to the public and private support the university has received to advance our scientific, education, and health care missions.”

Other highlights from the report include:

  • UR is responsible for directly and indirectly sustaining an estimated 59,700 jobs in the New York State economy. This is up from an estimated 54,000 jobs in 2015.
  • The university and its affiliates are responsible for a total of $3.5 billion in labor income.
  • Rochester students generate an estimated $99 million in spending per year.
  • UR and its affiliates purchased goods and services totaling nearly $1 billion in 2017.
  • About 430,000 people attended a UR event in 2017. An estimated 40,000 people were out of town visitors who lodged more than 35,000 hotel night stays.
  • UR’s spending and activities generated $207 million in sales, personal income, and property taxes to state and local governments.

The CGR report details the employment and payroll, capital expenditures, purchasing, student and visitor spending, and tax impact of the University of Rochester, UR Medicine, and its affiliates during 2017.  UR Medicine affiliates include Highland Hospital, F.F. Thompson, Noyes Health, and Jones Memorial Hospital, many of which are the largest employers in their respective communities.