UT Study: DOE’s Economic Impact Felt Statewide

KNOXVILLE — The economic benefit of U.S. Department of Energy operations to all of Tennessee continues to grow, with strong increases in its impact on the state’s gross state product, personal income, jobs and tax revenues, according to a report released today from the University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research.

Contracted by DOE, the UT report examines a range of benefits that flowed from Oak Ridge Operation activities in 2004. CBER has reported on DOE’s economic impact since 1998.

This new study reveals significant benefits to the state’s economy that include:

– Increase of Tennessee’s gross state product in 2004 to $3.7 billion, up $500 million from 2003.

– A 15 percent increase, to $1.9 billion, in total personal income generated by DOE-related activities in 2004.

– Growth in direct DOE and contractor jobs to 11,951, an additional 664 since 2003, bringing $655 million in annual wages and salaries, an increase of $11.1 million. Also, DOE spending supported 62,032 full-time jobs across the state in 2004, an increase of 7,477 since 2003.

– DOE-related spending, not including payroll, increased to $1.135 billion in 2004, an increase of $111 million over the previous year.

– DOE operations boosted state and local sales tax revenues to $74.7 million in 2004, an increase of $8 million since 2003.

– Charitable contributions of $11.1 million in 2004 by DOE, its contractors and their employees.

The report makes note of other significant direct and indirect benefits. Chief among them is the consistent growth in high-skilled, high-paying jobs that attract top researchers who enrich Tennessee’s workforce.

DOE’s research and development capabilities play a role in attracting research dollars to the state and its higher education institutions, particularly through its partnership with UT, the report states.

Additionally, DOE’s technical assistance, technology partnerships, contributions to educational institutions, and reuse of government assets have helped influence private firms to locate in Tennessee, create new jobs and reshape the state’s economy through new products, processes and business ventures.

DOE’s extensive presence in Anderson and Roane counties includes the 33,749-acre Oak Ridge Reservation. The reservation houses three major plant complexes, operated in large part by private contractors: the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the East Tennessee Technology Park, and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Y-12 National Security Complex.

Also included in the study are the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and the American Museum of Science and Energy.
The report is online at http://cber.bus.utk.edu.