Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Oregon’s Forest Sector Employment Totals 61,600 in 2019

Forest sector-related employment in Oregon totaled 61,600 in 2019, which accounted for 3% of Oregon’s workforce. Forest-related jobs paid relatively well, with an annual average wage of $56,600, roughly 3% more than the average of $55,000 for all jobs covered by unemployment insurance in 2019.

The majority of Oregon’s forest sector-related employment occurs in privately owned companies. About 52,450 forest sector jobs were found at private establishments covered by unemployment insurance in 2019. Another 3,300 private nonemployers operated in forest-related industries in 2018, the most recent year with available data. Federal, state, and local government accounted for 5,800 forest sector jobs statewide.

Almost 41,700 (68%) of the 61,600 forestry jobs were found at establishments in metropolitan counties, while 19,700 forest-related jobs (32%) belonged to businesses in rural counties. Another 250 jobs (0.4%) were in multi-area or unclassified locations.

Although metros accounted for twice as many of these jobs, forest sector employment made up 7% of all rural employment, compared with 2% of all metropolitan area employment. In Grant County, one out of every five jobs (20%) was forest-related. The sector accounted for more than 10% of the total in Douglas, Jefferson, Lake, and Crook counties.

The forest sector also held relative importance to rural Oregon in terms of wages. In metropolitan areas, forest sector wages sometimes paid less than the annual average for all jobs, but could also pay as much as 39% more. Meanwhile, forest sector jobs in rural areas paid as much as 85% more than all jobs. That was the case in Clatsop County, where forest sector jobs paid an average of $72,200, compared with $39,100 for all jobs. Lincoln County was similar, with an average annual forest sector wage ($69,800) that was 77% above the all-job average ($39,500).

Even at the county level, our breakout likely understates the importance of forest jobs to rural Oregon. That’s because “metropolitan” includes all jobs throughout the 13 counties that are a part of the state’s eight metropolitan areas, even if the non-metropolitan balance of the county is rural in character.

To learn more about Oregon's forest sector, read Senior Economic Analyst Anna Johnson's article here

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