Economic Impact

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    CSUN Economic and Social Impact Study

Executive Summary

Through its work as one of Southern California’s top academic institutions, its fundamental role in bringing firms, jobs, and bright minds to the region, and through the substantial amount of spending in connection with its operations, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) has immense economic, fiscal, and social impacts far beyond the Northridge community. CSUN has an economic impact of nearly $1.9 billion and has created more than 11,700 jobs. This report demonstrates, in detail, the wide range of those impacts, now and moving forward.

The first section of this report shows the positive economic and job creation impact of the expenditures made by CSUN, its students, visitors, and faculty/staff, using data from the 2013/2014 academic school year. The report finds that CSUN-related expenditures contribute significant economic value statewide. Namely:

Economic output generated by CSUN-related spending generated nearly $677.6 million in increased wages and earnings, raising labor income across the state. Of the total labor income generated, $588.6 million landed in Los Angeles County.

The additional income generated by CSUN-related expenditures was largely spent within the local economy, which together with the increased demand for labor driven by these expenditures, resulted in a cumulative total of 11,774 jobs supported across all industries in California. Of these new jobs, 10,369 originated in Los Angeles County.

CSUN employees provided added value to state and local governments in the form of increased tax revenue at a total of $122.1 million.

Overall, the analysis finds that the presence of CSUN has created substantial new economic value, increasing output and adding a large number of primarily middle-income jobs in Los Angeles County and across the state.

Estimates of CSUN’s economic contributions are derived from the IMPLAN input-output model.1 The economic impacts presented are calibrated for the local region (Northridge area), Los Angeles County, and California.

To understand the full value added by CSUN, we also have to look beyond economic and fiscal activity and assess the social benefits and impacts stemming from the University’s activities. The second part of this report demonstrates the critical social benefits and implications of the University’s presence in the community and its operations.

As an institution of higher education, CSUN not only delivers a tangible economic boost, but also increases human capital and fosters the next generation of workers through its undergraduate and graduate programs. As part of its core mission, CSUN offers both local and out-of-region residents the opportunity to attain a college education as a means of career advancement, which is closely tied to higher lifetime income potential. CSUN also collaborates with local businesses in an effort to bridge the gap between in-classroom learning and real-world applications.

Grants to CSUN research are strong and growing, and large contributions from alumni like David Nazarian and Mike Curb help CSUN to expand its academic and research programs even more. CSUN also provides an assortment of athletic, cultural, and social programs for its students and the local community. In addition, the Tseng College of Extended Learning offers degrees and certificates to thousands of professionals each year, while at the same time providing a key self-support capacity to the whole university. These programs, and others, cultivate an academic experience that reaches far beyond graduation, to the benefit of both the economy and quality of life in Southern California that extends to the rest of the state.

Summary: Economic Impact of California State University, Northridge
Category Local Impact (est.) County Impact (est.) State Impact (est.) Total Impact (est.)
Jobs 8,503 1,866 1,405 11,774
Output ($ Millions) 1,298.7 285.1 293.5 1,877.3
Value Added ($ Millions) 726.5 159.5 159.0 1,045.0
Labor Income ($ Millions) 482.6 106.0 89.1 677.7
State and Local Taxes ($ Millions) 85.1 18.7 18.4 122.1
Source: IMPLAN, with calculations by Beacon Economics 39,983100

Information on the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) Input-Output model can be found online at: