By Jerry Siebenmark
Tribune News Service
A new report on the economic impact of the health care industry in the Wichita area said the industry contributed $7 billion in revenue to the local economy in 2012.
The report, released Monday, was prepared by Wichita State University's Center for Economic Development and Business Research for the Medical Society of Sedgwick County and is based on 2012 Census data.
The total amount of revenue the industry contributed to the local economy was up 10 percent from 2009, according to the report.
The report said employment in health care and related industries increased 3.7 percent between 2009 and 2012 to 42,130 employees in the area -- Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties -- while the average annual wage in the same period increased 4.1 percent, to $40,836.
That's slightly lower than the average wage in the area in 2012, which was $40,923, the report said.
Based on number of employees, health care ranks second in private-sector employment, behind manufacturing and ahead of retail trade, the report said.
In 2012, it contributed $240 million in city, county and state tax revenue through wages.
Jon Rosell, executive director of the medical society, said this is the fourth report his organization has commissioned.
"We thought it was important to take a snapshot of the impact of health care in our region, and to do it in a consistent way so we could measure that impact over time," Rosell said. "We're able to get an idea of what role health care plays in our local economy."
He said the reports show a strong, steadily growing component of the economy. He hopes the report spurs conversations on how officials can "build upon that infrastructure ... to create more jobs and to further diversify our economy."
Rosell said the medical society plans to continue commissioning the report every other year.