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Jobs and Economic Impact

The U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products industry is one of the largest manufacturing segments in America. Our products play an integral part in the everyday lives of people across the country and around the world. Products like copy paper, milk and juice cartons, cereal boxes, magazines and wooden furniture are easy to recognize. Others, like baby diapers, bathroom tissue and the cellulosic material in computer screens, textiles and time-release medicine may be less recognizable but are also made from forest products.

Forest products companies are the only source of year-round, well-paying jobs in many rural American communities and often serve as economic-development engines for entire regions. Given the industry’s size, the economic vitality of forest products companies is essential not only to these local communities and regions but also to the nation’s manufacturing base and overall economy.


The forest products industry is a major national employer.

  • The industry currently employs about 900,000 workers.1
  • The industry’s workforce is about on par with that of the automotive industry and larger than the chemical industry’s workforce.2
  • Forest products companies are among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states.3

Forest products jobs create additional wealth in their communities.

  • Forest products workers earn a combined total of approximately $50 billion annually.4
  • For every 100 jobs in the industry, the paper and allied products industry supports 325 jobs in supplier industries and local communities, while the wood products industry supports an additional 225 jobs outside the industry.5

The forest products industry is a major contributor to the national economy.

  • U.S. forest products industry ships goods that are worth more than $200 billion annually.6
  • The forest products industry represents nearly 4 percent of U.S. manufacturing GDP.7

Additional information on state-by-state employment and economic impact can be found on AF&PA's website at www.afandpa.org/our-industry.




1. U.S. Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2015 data

2. U.S. Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2015 data

3. Compiled by AF&PA using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis/Census Bureau

4. Compiled by AF&PA using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics

5. Economic Policy Institute (Working Paper 268)

6. U.S. Dept of Commerce

7. Compiled by AF&PA using data from the U.S. Dept of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis