Who Benefits from UW System Economic Activity?

The overwhelming beneficiary of UW System’s economic impact is the private sector. Spending associated with campus operations, UW Hospitals and Clinics, startups, students and visitors, and affiliated organizations benefit a wide range of private sector businesses.

Three sectors receive more than $1.5 billion each in annual economic impact as a result of UW System economic activity:

  • Real estate
  • Hospitals
  • Computer services

Seven sectors receive annual economic benefits ranging from $220 million to more than $800 million:

  • Full-service restaurants
  • Owner-occupied dwellings
  • Construction
  • Insurance carriers
  • Wholesale trade
  • Employment services
  • Electric power generation

Other sectors that benefit from UW System economic activity include general merchandise retail, offices of physicians, truck transportation, hotels and motels, retail food and beverage stores, legal services, and more (see Figure 5).

Overall, private sector companies receive 75% of the economic benefit that comes from UW System economic activity. That amounts to $18 billion annually.

Image of Figure 5. Percentage of $18 Billion Private Benefits by Sector: Real estate 17.5%, Hospitals 11.9%, Computer services 8.8%, Restaurants 5.8%, Homeowners 4.4%, Retail 3.6%, Construction 2.9%, Insurance 2.8%, Wholesale trade 2.4%, Financial services 2.4%, Employment services 2.1%, Telecommunications 1.6%, Electric power generation 1.6%, Management services 1.3%, Physicians 1.2%, Hotels/motels 1%, All other 28.7%