The impact of the Further Education sector on the national economy is not generally well appreciated amongst the public at large. Colleges are seen as skills and training centres, equipping people to enter or re-enter the world of work, but are perhaps not really seen as crucial components of the total economy. Clearly colleges must have a significant economic impact, but do any of us know just how big this impact actually is?
Over in America, EMSI have for the first time quantified this impact. Our report, commissioned by the American Association of Community Colleges, shows that in 2012 the net total impact of Community Colleges on the US economy was $809 billion. That sounds a pretty staggering figure, yet without a context by which to measure it by what — in terms of the US economy as a whole — does this actually mean? It is only when you realise that this figure represents approximately 5.4% of America’s GDP that you begin to see that this is not just a drop in the ocean — rather, it shows just what a huge and integral part the American college system has on the national economy.
For further details of the study and the significance of the impact of colleges on the US economy, J. Noah Brown, president and CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees, has just written a piece for FE News which you can access here.
For further information about EMSI’s Economic Impact Studies, please contact Andy Durman (firstname.lastname@example.org)