The Department of Energy creates billions in economic benefit and
high-quality jobs for the state of Tennessee.
The East Tennessee Economic Council partners with member companies and economists to produce reports that detail the impact of the Department of Energy for our legislative delegation, community leaders, economic developers, federal contractors, local governments, private industries, and citizens.
Fiscal Year 2020 Report:
Fiscal Year 2017 Report:
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Reservation is an economic engine for the state of Tennessee, according to a report released in May of 2018. The report studied the effects of DOE’s investment in Tennessee in fiscal year 2017.
This report details the scope and scale of DOE’s impact in Tennessee’s economy. It examined job creation, state GDP growth, private-sector procurements, payroll and pension disbursement, state and local tax contributions, and community development conferred on the state by DOE, as well as the ripple effects of this spending.
Key findings from the report include:
- DOE’s economic impact on the state of Tennessee equals $5.6 billion. – Tennessee’s gross domestic product increased by approximately $3.4 billion as a result of overall spending by DOE and its contractors. Additionally, $2.2 billion in total personal income was generated by DOE–related activities in the state.
- More than 34,000 full-time jobs are supported by DOE activities, with a workforce that spans 50 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. – 12,618 jobs were directly created by DOE and its contractors in Tennessee. An additional 21,878 jobs were generated by the indirect effects of DOE investment. For every one job created by DOE and its contractors, an additional 1.7 jobs were created across the state.
- The private sector supports DOE’s missions in Oak Ridge. – Of the approximately $1.1 billion in non-payroll spending from DOE and its contractors, more than $943 million went to Tennessee businesses for the procurement of raw materials, services, and supplies.
- Over $32 million in state and local taxes were generated by DOE-related spending. – A portion of these tax dollars enable the City of Oak Ridge to provide critical infrastructure to support DOE missions and also funds education and schools.
“This report confirms that the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation is critical to the state’s economic success,” ETEC president Jim Campbell said. “The men and women who work in Oak Ridge deploy science and engineering innovation to make Tennesseans’ quality of life better, our planet healthier and our nation safer.”
Beyond the billions in economic gain, the report confirmed substantial community and educational benefits from DOE’s presence in Tennessee. DOE and its contractors gave over $2.4 million in charitable donations in 2017. They contributed more than $627,000 to education initiatives in East Tennessee. DOE facilities in Oak Ridge attracted over 50,000 visitors, a number poised to grow from heritage tourism due to the recently announced Manhattan Project National Historical Park and History Museum to commemorate Oak Ridge’s role in ending World War II.
Oak Ridge is integral to our national security and nuclear nonproliferation efforts. It is home to leading scientists and researchers and nearly 2,300 patents and licenses, 127 of which were secured in 2017. State-of-the-art facilities enable these experts to conduct transformative science and technological research to tackle global dilemmas. These assets cement Tennessee’s stature in scientific leadership. Leading firms and experts in energy, nuclear technology, advanced manufacturing, computing and artificial intelligence are drawn to the region to partner with expertise found in Oak Ridge.
Research on DOE’s economic impact in the state of Tennessee in FY2017 was conducted in part by a Booz Allen Hamilton economist and initiated by the East Tennessee Economic Council. The report was sponsored by the Oak Ridge Utility District and TNBANK.
Fiscal Year 2013 Report:
The presence of the Department of Energy in the state of Tennessee generates significant economic benefits. Everyday operations create jobs and income for residents and increase state and local tax revenues. To provide estimates of the economic benefits DOE has on the state of Tennessee, the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville initiated an in-depth examination of DOE activities, beginning with the 1998 fiscal year. The current study, conducted by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at UT and ETEC, summarizes the key economic benefits conveyed by DOE on Tennessee using data from fiscal year 2013.
Results from this study confirm the substantial impacts of DOE’s activities on the state as well as on its residents. They also support a statement made over 50 years ago by Cong. Howard H. Baker, Sr. in a speech he delivered in 1959.
“Oak Ridge can never become just another attractive American city. Its fame and its honors based upon past achievements are already too great for this, and its heavy responsibilities for the future of both America and the world preclude the possibility of a quiet, completely normal existence.”