Fort Drum regional economic impact totals nearly $1.9 billion and supports 6,500 additional jobs

Local News

WATERTOWN, NY, March 21, 2018 – According to the results of its economic impact model, Advocate Drum (also known as the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, or FDRLO) estimates that Fort Drum’s 2018 economic impact totaled $1.9 billion in the three-county region that includes the counties of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence.  The value-added portion of that impact accounts for nearly 15% of the region’s Gross Domestic Product. The FDRLO model estimates that in addition to the 19,086 military and civilian personnel directly employed at Fort Drum in 2018 (which makes it the largest singlesite employer in New York State), Fort Drum spending also supported an additional 6,458 jobs in the general regional economyThose are jobs not on Fort Drum, but that exist offpost because of Fort Drum, noted Edward “Fritz” Keel, FDRLO executive director.  He added that the 25,571 Fort Drum related jobs account for 23% of the employed population in the region. The model estimates that 23,805 of those job holders reside in Jefferson County; 1,143 in Lewis; 252 in St. Lawrence; and 371 outside the TriCounty area.


Fort Drum annually reports its spending in various categories for the preceding fiscal year. However, that annual report accounts for direct spending onlyIn order to understand the full economic impact of that spending on the threecounty region, you have to understand the additional economic activity that spending generates and the jobs that spending supports, said Mr. Keel. “We entered the numbers reported by Fort Drum into a model developed just for that purpose.”


FDRLOs economic impact model was developed by the Economic Development Research Group, Boston, MA.  The model is maintained for FDRLO by the Jefferson County Planning Department.  When Fort Drum’s direct expenditures are entered, the model takes into consideration that different categories of spending reported by Fort Drum have different multiplier effects in the local economy.  Those impacts include the offpost jobs and business income stimulated by Fort Drums spending, and the respending of that income on consumer purchases and additional business sales in the region. In addition to Fort Drum’s direct spending of over $1.4 billion for payroll and purchases, the model adds more than $453 million in indirect and induced business activity to arrive at the total impact $1.877 billion.


The model also estimates how the additional 6,485 jobs supported by Fort Drum related activity are distributed across 20 different industry sectors and occupations.  By industry sector, the top five categories are health care and social services, followed by educational services, retail trade, real estate, and food and accommodations.  The top five occupations are office and administrative, education and training, healthcare practitioners, sales, and healthcare support.

 See economic impact summary below

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