Report: Global health work contributes $3.7 billion to N.C. economy

Global health works supports 26,000 N.C. jobs, $1.6 billion in annual wages

Congressman David Price led a panel at RTI June 5 to discuss the global health sector's impact on North Carolina's economy

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Global health work contributed $3.7 billion to North Carolina’s economy in 2015, according to a new report conducted by RTI International on behalf of the Triangle Global Health Consortium.

The report quantifies the impact of global health work in North Carolina on the state’s gross domestic product, a common measure of the size of the economic production in North Carolina.

North Carolina is a leader in global health, housing more than 220 organizations, companies, and academic institutions that work in more than 185 countries improving the health of people around the world and enhancing United States national security.

“This report highlights North Carolina’s leadership in global health and the significant role that the global health sector plays in the state’s economy,” said Claire Neal, executive director of the Triangle Global Health Consortium. “The global health sector here in the state saves lives and reduces health disparities around the world, while also creating jobs, catalyzing innovation, and bringing revenue back to the state.”

According to the report, more than $1.2 billion in health research funding comes into North Carolina annually.

The report also found that global health work supports more than 26,000 jobs in North Carolina across multiple sectors. These jobs paid more than $1.6 billion in annual wages, an average of $62,000 per job. The economic impacts of these jobs extend far beyond those working in global health as portions of individual wages are, in turn, spent on local goods and services.

Global health economic activity in North Carolina also generates state and federal tax revenue, accounting for $182 million and $433 million in revenue, respectively in 2015. These tax dollars are spent throughout North Carolina and the United States to support education, healthcare, transportation infrastructure, and innumerable other benefits to the state.

“It is essential that North Carolina’s congressional delegation is aware of the importance of the global health sector to the state’s economy. Deep budget cuts are proposed to a number of agencies performing work in global health. Right now, RTI is on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo working with the CDC to fight the Ebola outbreak,” said Wayne Holden, RTI president and CEO. “We already knew how critical development assistance and global health programs were to fighting extremism and protecting our national security. Now, we know these cuts could have dire effects on the North Carolina economy as well.”

The Triangle Global Health Consortium will host a roundtable discussion, facilitated by Congressman David Price, on June 7 in Washington D.C. with North Carolina members of Congress, senior staff, and global health leaders from the North Carolina and around the world.

The report was also supported by the Eleanor Crook Foundation, Duke Global Health Institute, IntraHealth International, FHI 360, North Carolina State University, and UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases.