Many communities across America have relied on forest product manufacturers to support their families for generations. These companies not only provide income to individual families but also help support entire regions of the country. According to the American Forest & Paper Association, the forest products industry:
- Manufactures more than $300 billion worth of products annually
- Employs approximately 950,000 U.S. workers
- Is among the top 10 manufacturing employers in 45 states
- Supports 2.5 million jobs through its supply chain
Combined, the forest products industry represents about 4 percent of the U.S. manufacturing gross domestic product, making it a major contributor to the nation’s economy.
Economic Engine for Canada
The story is similar for Canada. The forest industry is one of Canada’s most important manufacturing sectors, and the country is the fourth-largest forest product exporter in the world. According to a 2018 report by Natural Resources Canada, the industry:
- Injected about $23.7 billion into Canada’s economy
- Directly supported more than 205,000 jobs across the country, including employment for an estimated 12,000 indigenous people
- Generated more than $1.9 billion in revenue in 2018 for provincial and territorial government
The forest industry is critical to the Canadian economy and often serves as the lifeblood of rural economies.
Financial Gain for Landowners
Because of the great economic benefits associated with forests, the forest products industry is sometimes misunderstood. Some people think that it exploits this natural resource for financial gain, leaving fewer forests standing for future generations. In fact, the opposite is true.
A study by Dovetail Partners, Inc. found regions with the highest levels of timber harvest for forest products are actually the regions with the lowest rates of deforestation. This makes sense, as many private landowners rely on harvests as a periodic source of income. Without a financial incentive to maintain their forests, landowners might consider other land uses that don’t include trees, such as agriculture or development.
Domtar’s Financial Impact
For its part, Domtar shares the economic impact of its forestry and manufacturing activities through annual sustainability reports. Our reports highlight the positive impacts that come from running mills and multiple external paper converters throughout the United States and Canada, generating nearly 9,000 North American jobs.