Forest sector jobs and wages
09.05.2019

OFRI recently published a new report and a website on Oregon’s forest economy. A full report and a summary report can be downloaded from the website: TheForestReport.org. In this blog, I will summarize some of the information on forest sector jobs and wages from the report. 

 

Diverse jobs

Oregon’s forest sector offers a wide array of employment, including work in forest management, logging, sawmilling, cabinetmaking, engineering, hydrology, business management and academic research. The largest group of Oregon’s forest sector workers have positions related to making primary forest products. This includes pulp and paper manufacturing, sawmills and wood preservation, as well as veneer, plywood and engineered wood production. Forestry support, which includes positions in nurseries, machinery manufacturing, firefighting and logging, compromises the next largest labor component. The following table shows the breakdown of forest sector jobs by subsector in 2016.

Bar graph

Rural and urban jobs

Overall, forest sector jobs represent about 3 percent of the total jobs in Oregon. However, these jobs are relatively more important in rural areas. The following list shows the top 10 counties by percent of forestry jobs.

 

County

Total Forest Sector Jobs 2016

Percent of County Jobs in the Forest Sector

Grant County

 579

20%

Douglas County

5,561

13%

Lake County

361

12%

Jefferson County

823

10%

Crook County

718

9%

Klamath County

2,374

9%

Union County

953

8%

Coos County

2,042

8%

Tillamook County

856

8%

Curry County

620

7%

 

Urban areas are not without forest sector jobs. In fact, five of the eight highest counties in number of forest sector jobs are Oregon’s five urban counties. The following list shows the top 10 counties by number of forestry jobs.

 

County

Total Forest Sector Jobs 2016

Percent of County Jobs in the Forest Sector

Lane County

7,172

4%

Douglas County

5,561

13%

Jackson County

5,121

5%

Multnomah County

4,368

1%

Marion County

4,347

3%

Washington County

3,821

1%

Linn County

3,321

7%

Clackamas County

3,263

2%

Klamath County

2,374

9%

Coos County

2,042

8%

 

It is interesting to note that only Douglas, Klamath and Coos Counties show up on both lists.

Higher-than-average wages

 

The average annual wage for forest sector jobs in 2017 was $54,200, roughly 6 percent higher than the average annual wage of $51,100 for all Oregon employment, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

This difference is much higher in rural areas. The following graphic shows the forest sector average annual wage, the overall average annual wage and the percent difference for the state as a whole and for the 14 counties with the largest difference.

bar graph

Total annual wages are increasing

The great recession of 2009-10 caused a large loss of jobs in the forest sector. This is reflected in the total annual wages for Oregon’s wood products manufacturing sector which have steadily increased since the recession low point of 2010. As of 2016, those annual wages totaled about $1.4 billion. After a strong recovery in 2012-13, employment has held steady, but wages have increased as the economy has recovered.

graph

To find out more about Oregon’s forest sector economy, visit TheForestReport.org.

Mike Cloughesy

Director of Forestry

 

Add new comment

CAPTCHA Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive. Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.