Report: Federal labs mean billions to state
Last Updated: 15:57 September 5, 2013
The Business Research Division at the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business conducted the report, titled Colorado Economic Impact Study: Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Federally Funded Research Facilities in Colorado, FY 2011-13.
Boulder County benefits greatly from the presence of federal labs, and the labs located here provide much of the economic benefit statewide. According to the report, the county enjoyed $743 million in economic impact in fiscal year 2012, the year most closely examined in the report. Statewide, federal labs accounted for 7,966 full, part-time and contract jobs in the state, with nearly 3,600 of those located locally with average annual earnings and benefits of $107,942.
Federal research labs located in Boulder include the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, the National Ecological Observatory Network, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, as well as several associated divisions.
Those Boulder labs contributed greatly to the statewide economic impact, with NOAA leading the way by providing $277.7 million in impact to the state and employed 867 full-time workers in 2012. NIST provided $187.7 million in impact. LASP added $159.3 million, and CIRES provided $111.8 million to help lead the way locally.
“Colorado's federal labs help foster the innovation that fuels our state and the nation's economy," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a press release. "Leveraging the labs' research and technology with the state's innovative entrepreneurial spirit creates a strong foundation for Colorado's business ecosystem. We are proud of the extraordinary advancements coming from the research in Colorado and will continue to support our federal laboratories and their world-class workforce."
The report did note that “moderate employment declines” and a decrease in construction projects led to the drop in federal labs’ economic impact in the state to $2 billion in fiscal year 2013, for which final figures were estimated for the purposes of the report. Federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, have been a concern for local federal labs as the government tries to make ends meet.
In further championing the labs, the report pointed out that they not only add jobs but add highly educated and high-paying jobs. Fifty-three percent of the employees at Colorado’s federal labs hold at least a master’s degree, compared with 13.4 percent of the state’s general population. Eighty-five percent hold at least a bachelor’s degree, more than double the state rate of 37 percent.
More breaking news...
Wobbekind to give econ forecast Monday
Colorado Gives Day set for Tuesday, Dec. 10
Ball Corp.'s chairman cashes in on stock
Colorado Gives Day is an initiative to increase
On Dec. 3, Hayes sold the stock at an average price of $49.47 for $989,400. Following the completion of the