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Study: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory a major contributor to Washington state economy

News Release

December 18, 2014 Share This!

  • A study of PNNL’s economic impact on the state of Washington revealed it supported $1.3 billion and 6,800 jobs in the state last year, as well as another $1.2 billion dollars and over 6,400 jobs through closely related economic activities.

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RICHLAND, Wash. — The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory directly and indirectly supported more than $1.3 billion and 6,800 jobs in the Washington state economy last year, as well as another $1.2 billion dollars and over 6,400 jobs through closely related economic activities.

Those and other findings regarding PNNL's economic impact on the Evergreen State are the subject of a comprehensive analysis prepared by laboratory economists and released this week. The report, titled "Economic Impact of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on the State of Washington in Fiscal Year 2013" can be viewed here.

It quantifies economic impacts such as PNNL's funding and total spending, jobs, wages, purchased goods and services, healthcare, visitor spending, spinoff companies, education support and corporate charitable contributions.

"The community has long recognized the economic impact of PNNL is significant. Seeing the impact actually quantified in this report should be a real eye-opener here locally and to the entire region," said Carl Adrian, president and CEO of the Tri-City Development Council. "PNNL is really an economic engine for all of Washington and I hope business leaders and legislators from across the entire state recognize PNNL's impact in terms of spending, employment, in-state purchases and taxes paid."

PNNL is one of Washington's largest scientific research centers. Interdisciplinary teams at PNNL address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Seventy percent of its funding comes from DOE, while the rest is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other federal agencies and private industry. PNNL is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, and is managed and operated by Battelle for DOE's Office of Science. The laboratory is the largest employer in the Tri-Cities and one of the largest in eastern Washington.

Of PNNL's 4,344 staff, 94 percent reside in Washington, working mostly at PNNL's main campus in Richland, but also at its Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim and offices on Lake Union in Seattle. The laboratory's unique facilities attract thousands of visiting scientists each year, who, according to the report, also help fuel the local and state economy.

Report Highlights

Highlights from the report include the following. Data in most cases are for fiscal year 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013) and in some cases calendar year 2013, which was the latest available data at the time the report was compiled.

  • Expenditures in Washington state were about $377 million in salaries and wages, and $48 million in purchased goods and services. Through multiplier effects, these direct expenditures supported $1.31 billion in total economic output in Washington state.
  • An additional $1.21 billion in economic output was created by PNNL-related health care, spinoff companies, visitors and retirees in Washington.
  • Seventy-six spinoff companies located in Washington earned an estimated $570 million in revenue and employed 2,219 people,
  • PNNL, as well as Battelle staff at PNNL, paid nearly $23 million in taxes to state and local governments,
  • Nearly 200,000 visitor-days at PNNL from university, industry and government partners and others led to $31 million in visitor spending, and about 450 jobs supported by visitor spending,
  • Battelle, as the operator of PNNL, received $5.6 million in royalty income and license fees, which were reinvested in the laboratory and communities where it has a presence,
  • PNNL staff and their households spent $42 million in purchase of health-related services funded by PNNL health insurance in fiscal year 2013,
  • Retired staff living in Washington state spent over $22 million through Medicare and other health providers in 2013,
  • Battelle and Battelle staff at PNNL contributed more than $1 million to philanthropic and civic organizations. This included $324,000 for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, education.

Tags: Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Economic Development

PNNL LogoPacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on signature capabilities in chemistry, earth sciences, and data analytics to advance scientific discovery and create solutions to the nation's toughest challenges in energy resiliency and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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