UT Study: DOE’s Economic Impact Felt Statewide

A University of Tennessee study shows the substantial statewide economic impact of the U.S. Department of Energy, supporting steady growth in jobs, individual incomes and sales tax contributions.

The 2003 study — “The Economic Benefits of the U.S. Department of Energy for the State of Tennessee” — was conducted by Dr. Matthew Murray and his associates at the UT Center for Business and Economic Research.

Murray’s key numbers for fiscal year 2003 include:

– Spending by DOE and its contractors led to an increase of $3.2 billion in the state’s gross state product.

– Total personal income generated in the state of Tennessee by DOE-related activities was nearly $1.7 billion.

– DOE spending supported 54,555 full-time jobs in the state.

– DOE spending generated $66.7 million in state and local sales tax revenues.

– DOE employees held 956 Ph.D degrees, 1,668 master’s degrees, and 3,461 bachelor’s degrees.

The study found that DOE and its major contractors directly employed 11,287 Tennessee residents and paid an average annual salary of $49,780. The workforce accounts for annual wages and salaries totaling $565.4 million.

The study found that payroll, pension and non-payroll spending in the state by DOE and its contractors totaled $1.7 billion, a 47.9 percent increase over 2001.

“The job gains are particularly noteworthy as they have come at a time when the state has struggled to create jobs,” Murray said.

Murray said in the report that in the acquisition of goods and services from Tennessee businesses, DOE and its contractors spent $995 million in non-payroll dollars.

The report highlights new facilities under construction at ORNL including the Spallation Neutron Source and the Center for Nanophase Materials, new initiatives in computational sciences, and efforts to enhance technology transfer.

“Since the U.S. Government first sited its facilities in Oak Ridge in the 1940s, its operations have made significant contributions to the state of Tennessee, its residents and local governments through the creation of jobs and income and the expansion of state and local tax bases,” said Gerald Boyd, manager of DOE Oak Ridge operations.

“This report clearly spells out DOE’s important role,” Boyd said.

DOE operations in Anderson and Roane counties include the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the East Tennessee Technology Park and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Y-12 National Security Complex.

UT’s full report is online at http://cber.bus.utk.edu.