Friday, December 14, 2018

Oregon Christmas Trees Create Jobs During the Holiday Season

Oregon is the number one Christmas tree producing state in the nation, according to data from the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, with roughly $90 million in wholesale sales and 5.2 million trees harvested in 2016. Most of the harvested trees are either Douglas fir (32%) or Noble fir (54%). This year, the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, an 82-foot-tall noble fir, came from Oregon’s Willamette National Forest.

We can get an estimate of payroll, or “covered” employment by matching company names from licenses with records from the Oregon Employment Department’s Unemployment Insurance program. There were 42 matches.

In 2017, covered employment grew into the spring and summer and then spiked with the harvest in November at roughly 1,300 workers. Annual average employment was 469 and annual average pay was $32,969.

Obviously, many growers are sole proprietors or family farms that have little or no payroll employment and are not required to report to the Unemployment Insurance program. Many of the growers tend the trees and then hire temporary workers for harvest or contract out the harvest. With more than 300 growers not included in the covered employment estimate, it is likely that hundreds, if not thousands, more are employed during the harvest on a contract or temporary worker basis.
This article was written by Lane County Regional Economist Brian Rooney

No comments: