UCLA’s enormous economic impact: 108,000 jobs and $16.6 billion


Royce Hall

George Foulsham/UCLA

UCLA’s Royce Hall

A report published today by the University of California reveals UCLA’s enormous impact on the Los Angeles economy.

The study, conducted by Los Angeles-based Beacon Economics, found that UCLA provides and supports 108,050 jobs — a figure that encompasses the UCLA Health system and includes direct, indirect and induced jobs not on the university’s payroll. Those employees earned a total of $7.7 billion in salary and benefits in 2018–19.

In all, the report found, UCLA contributed nearly $16.6 billion in annual benefit to the economy in 2018–19. And compared with the other eight UC undergraduate campuses, UCLA (excluding its health enterprise) generated the largest economic impact, at more than $8.4 billion.

“At a time when jobs are a critical issue that families are discussing around kitchen tables here in Los Angeles and far beyond, we are very proud that UCLA remains one of the county’s largest employers, fosters an astonishing level of economic activity, drives innovation and contributes to the vitality of the region,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “We thank all 108,000 of those working in jobs that UCLA supports — including those who work in our labs, support our students’ education and provide health care — for their commitment to UCLA and our community.”

The report (PDF) also cites UCLA’s contributions to California’s standing as one of the world’s largest economies. For example, in 2017–18 alone, 20 startup companies were formed based on research from UCLA.

The analysis also revealed that for every dollar invested in the University of California system, the university generated $21.04 in economic output in 2018–19. The UC system overall supports more than a half-million jobs in California, or one in every 45 jobs in the state.

A separate analysis published in 2020 by the Los Angeles Business Journal (PDF) found UCLA was the third-largest public sector employer in Los Angeles County, based on the number of employees but not counting external jobs supported.

Read the University of California news release about the economic impact study.

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