Economic Study to Document Credit Unions’ Impact; First Look Will be at Amplify Convention

The Northwest Credit Union Association has commissioned ECONorthwest to measure the impact credit union jobs, real estate, taxes and services have on the economy at the county, state and federal levels.

The study will augment The Myth of the Uneven Playing Field, a first-of-its kind report the firm released last year analyzing the impact of credit unions’ not-for-profit structure. That study debunked bank lobby claims that credit unions’ tax status gave them an unfair competitive advantage.

ECONorthwest will use data from NCUA Call Reports and survey information collected from individual credit unions in Oregon and Washington to calculate the collective and individual credit union impact.

“The study will quantify the economic impact of Northwest credit unions by measuring their contribution to local and regional economies in terms of jobs and income supported by the operation of individual branches,” said Dr. Michael Wilkerson, senior economist for ECONorthwest. “It will also measure the total economic output of the sector, as well as their contributions to local charities.”

Wilkerson will present his findings during an education breakout session at NWCUA’s Amplify Convention October 7-9 in Spokane. Following Wilkerson’s presentation at Amplify, the report will be distributed to local and national media, credit unions, regulatory agencies and legislators.

“Often times not for profit institutions are not thought of as meaningful contributors to the health of the broader economy,” said Wilkerson. “In addition to prioritizing quality service to members, credit unions also provide middle class jobs to employees in urban and rural areas which help stimulate economic growth. This study will capture how credit unions are tied to the economic success of local economies as well as their connectivity to other individual market sectors.”

Registration for Amplify is available online.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Events, MAXX Annual Convention, NWCUA.