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New study reports a nearly $3 billion economic impact from military installations and activities

The Knoxville area’s military installations and activities generate an estimated $2.98 billion in economic impact each year, according to a study released yesterday.

Data for the study, conducted by the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council (ETMAC) in cooperation with the Knoxville Chamber, was collected in 2019 and updates a previous study completed in 2017 which showed an impact of $1.8 billion. That’s a jump of nearly $1.2 billion in a two-year period.

The study calculated the monetary impact of the active duty, guard, and reserve components of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps and takes into account: (1) the annual payroll of active duty, guard, reserve, and civilian personnel; (2) expenditures for construction, supplies, services and materials; (3) indirect jobs resulting from military personnel and military contracts given to area businesses; and (4) other factors like retirees’ pay and veterans’ benefits.

“ETMAC completes this economic analysis to provide business and civic leaders a discernable look at the significant contribution that the military and defense programs make to the economy of East Tennessee,” said Geoff Freeman, a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General who is President of ETMAC. “Because the military is one of the major drivers of economic activity in our area, in terms of direct and indirect jobs, supplies and services, and costs to maintain, train and operate facilities, our hope is that business and civic leaders will consider policies and actions that support and help retain this valuable resource in East Tennessee.”

The economic impact measured for the FY 2019 is as follows: (1) veteran’s benefits ($816,460,118 million); (2) active duty, guard and Reserves ($327,057,646 million); (3) Department of Defense (DoD) contracts ($1,378,009,000 billion); and (4) military retirees ($458,373,672 million).

The analysis uses DoD methodology to measure activity within 50 miles of Knoxville. The full report can be found here.

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