IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Thanks to gains in national homeland security and nuclear energy research divisions, Idaho National Laboratory reports it contributed $1.9 billion to Idaho's total economic output in fiscal year 2016. That is an increase of 20.4 percent over 2015 or nearly $324 million.
In its annual Economic Impact Summary, the laboratory said it employs 4,100 people. INL hired more than 480 employees in 2016 and increased its average salary to $92,600 annually, up from $88,635 in 2015. That makes the laboratory Idaho's sixth largest private employer and tenth largest, when compared to all public and private businesses.
"As Idaho's sixth largest private employer, we take great pride in Idaho National Laboratory being a major economic driver for our state," INL Lab Director Mark Peters said. "We value our relationship with the state of Idaho and believe our continued collaboration is critical to the success of the laboratory in the coming years," said Peters.
According to the report, INL generated more than $874 million in economic output through suppliers and employee household spending. It increased Idaho's overall personal income by $795 million.
Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA), responsible for the site's day-to-day management and operation, subcontracted more than $136 million to Idaho business. BEA also contributed $623,454 to charities, most of them oriented towards education.
"In the foreseeable future we continue to see a need to hire more engineers and scientists – not only to support replacing those who retire but to support the growth of our laboratory," Peters said. "It is critical we strengthen our partnering with subcontractors, educators,and industry."
The entire report is available here.