Study: Pacific Northwest National Lab supports $1.3 billion in spending and 6,800 jobs

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland supported more than $1.3 billion in spending and 6,800 jobs in the Washington state economy last year, according to a study prepared by lab economists and released Thursday.

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The PNNL is one of Washington's largest scientific research centers, conducting work in energy, the environment and national security. It performs some research aimed at cleaning up the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation, but it's operated separately from Hanford.

The study said 70 percent of its funding comes from the Energy Department, while the rest is from the Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, other federal agencies and private industry.

PNNL, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, is the largest employer in the Tri-Cities region and is one of the largest in Eastern Washington. It is operated by Battelle.

"PNNL is really an economic engine for all of Washington," said Carl Adrian, president of the Tri-City Development Council. "Seeing the impact actually quantified in this report should be a real eye-opener here locally and to the entire region."

Of PNNL's 4,344 staff, 94 percent reside in Washington, working mostly at the main campus in Richland. The lab also has a Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim and offices on Lake Union in Seattle.

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The report found:

— Expenditures in Washington state were about $377 million in wages and $48 million in purchased goods and services. Through multiplier effects, those direct expenditures supported $1.31 billion in total economic output.

— An additional $1.21 billion in economic output was created by PNNL-related health care, spinoff companies, visitors and retirees in Washington.

— The 76 spinoff companies located in Washington earned an estimated $570 million in revenue and employed 2,219 people.