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Wed, 21 Mar 2018

JCU’s $800m-plus impact

James Cook University boosted Queensland’s economy by more than $800m in 2016, with 97 per cent of the economic impact felt in the Townsville and Cairns regions.

James Cook University boosted Queensland’s economy by more than $800m in 2016, with 97 per cent of the economic impact felt in the Townsville and Cairns regions.

JCU commissioned The Western Research Institute (WRI) to undertake an external review of the University’s economic impact in Townsville, Cairns, and across Queensland in 2016.

WRI has found there’s been a significant increase in JCU’s contribution to state and regional economic growth since 2012, with the economic dividend growing strongly every year.

Queensland

  • JCU added approximately $827m in value to Queensland’s economy in 2016, a 41% increase since 2012 ($587m). JCU’s impact on the Queensland economy has been increasing at an annualised rate of 8.9% per year since 2012.
  • JCU created 5,450 full time jobs across the state in 2016, either directly or indirectly through spending on operations and infrastructure.
  • JCU contributed $512m to the state’s household income in 2016, up 46% since 2012.

The report also assessed the value of the human capital (or skills) of JCU’s graduates in 2016:

  • students who graduated from JCU in 2016 will add a total of $1.75 billion in human capital to the economy over their lifetime, or $102m every year, a 51% increase since 2011.
  • JCU’s 2016 Bachelor level graduates could expect to earn on average $400 per week more than someone with no university qualifications.
  • JCU’s 2016 Master’s level graduates could expect to earn on average $602 per week more than someone with no university qualifications.
  • JCU’s 2016 Doctoral level graduates could expect to earn on average $937 per week more than someone with no university qualifications.

Townsville 

  • JCU’s total economic impact on the Townsville economy in 2016 added approximately $622m in value to the region, a 56% increase since 2012 ($398m).
  • Approximately 5.6% of Townsville’s Gross Regional Product came from the direct and flow-on activities of JCU in 2016, up from 4.4% in 2012. This 27% increase in GRP since 2012-2016 reflects the relative decline in mining, construction and other sector since 2012, as well as infrastructure projects on the Townsville campus such as The Science Place and AITHM that have driven large increases in employment and therefore economic impact.
  • JCU is a major employer in the Townsville region, creating 4200 full-time jobs in 2016, either directly or indirectly through spending on its operations and infrastructure. This represents 5.6% of all employment in the Townsville local government area.
  • JCU contributed $371m in household income to the Townsville economy in 2016, an increase of 62% since 2012 ($229m).  This includes payments made to staff, the flow on effects of staff spending their income locally, and $49.4m in additional income earned by local businesses from students who have moved to Townsville to study at JCU.

Cairns

  • JCU’s total economic impact on the Cairns economy in 2016 added approximately $183m in value to the region, a 33% increase since 2012 ($137.5m).
  • In 2016, JCU in Cairns created 1332 full-time jobs, either directly or indirectly through spending on its operations and infrastructure (2.2% of employment in Cairns).
  • Approximately 2.1% of Cairns Gross Regional Product comes from the direct and flow on activities of JCU, up from 1.75% in 2012.
  • JCU contributed $119m in household income to the Cairns economy in 2016, an increase of 48% since 2012 ($80.6m).  This includes payments to staff, the flow on effects of staff spending their income locally, and $17.6m in additional income earned by local businesses from students who have moved to Cairns to study at JCU.
  • The data does not include investments since 2016 on new student accommodation ($40m) and construction of AITHM facilities ($24.5m).

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the report confirms JCU’s vital role in the north’s economy.

“JCU’s economic impact goes far beyond its expenditure on salaries and operations. As the University of northern Queensland, we educate and train the regions’ professional workforce, which is a crucial catalyst for growth and economic activity.

“As a major employer, educator and generator of economic activity, JCU’s impact on both Townsville and Cairns has increased substantially since 2012, confirming our enduring and growing contribution to northern Queensland.

“JCU delivered a $622m economic boost to Townsville’s regional economy in 2016, up more than 50% since 2012, and household income jumped more than 60% to more than $370m in 2016.

“JCU has a larger footprint in Townsville because it has operated there for nearly 50 years, but the University’s economic impact in Cairns continues to grow, up 33% since 2012, delivering a $183m boost to the region’s economy. And this momentum will build further as our new student accommodation on the Cairns campus welcomes more students to the region.

“The report shows JCU continues to attract students to the regions of northern Queensland who generate economic activity locally that would otherwise not occur in Townsville and Cairns,” Prof. Harding said.

Contacts

For more information please contact:

Richard Davis

Head of Media and Communications, JCU

0413 451 475

[email protected]