CANADA HAS AN ABUNDANCE OF FORESTED LAND-nearly 400 million hectares according to Statistics Canada. With so much wooded area in the country, Canadians exploit this natural resource to create jobs and drive economic growth. More than 650 Canadian communities rely on forestry with half of them depending on the sector for at least 50 per cent of household income. It’s one of Canada’s most important industries, and one that significantly impacts Atlantic Canada.
Curious as to how big of an employer the forestry sector is in Atlantic Canada? This single industry is responsible for over 19,000 jobs in the region, many of them located in New Brunswick.
FOREST INDUSTRY EMPLOYMENT (2017)
Forestry sector exports bring in billions of dollars to the Canadian economy. In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick’s forestry exports outpace its regional cousins by a wide margin. However, every province in the region exports far more forestry products than it imports, resulting in healthy trade balances.
TOTAL EXPORTS IN DOLLARS (2017)
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
The bigger picture
Even though the forestry industry employs thousands of Atlantic Canadians, the bulk of forestry jobs reside in Central and Western Canada.
FORESTRY JOBS IN CANADA
Forestry products made in Atlantic Canada are sold to markets not only domestically but around the world. Canadian companies have worked to diversify their markets. However, the United States remains its largest customer by far.
TOP FIVE EXPORT MARKETS IN PERCENTAGE (2017)
• U.S. 68%
• China 15.3%
• Japan 4.2%
• European Union 3%
• South Korea 1.7%
• U.S. 75.1%
• India 7.8%
• China 3%
• Middle East 1.9%
• European Union/South and Central America 1.5% (tie)
• U.S. 48.3%
• China 25.1%
• European Union 6.7%
• South and Central America 4.9%
• Oceania 2.3%
• U.S. 73.7%
• India 11.2%
• South and Central America 8.9%
• Middle East 3%
• European Union 2.8%
• U.S 97.8%
• Middle East 1.1%
• South Korea 0.7%
• European Union 0.3%
• Africa 0.1%Source: Statistics Canada
Turning wood into profit
Much of the stuff the Canadian forestry sector sells is traditional products―such as lumber, solid wood products and pulp and paper. But non-traditional items like advanced bioproducts are gaining in importance as exports.
EPORTS OF CANADIAN FOREST PRODUCTS (2017)
Wage against the machine
Earnings in the forestry industry don’t rival those in the mining and oil and gas industry. But workers still earn a healthy living. It may be a short-term trend, but it’s worth noting average incomes declined in two of the three forestry sub-sectors in Canada in 2017 compared to 2016.
AVERAGE EARNINGS IN FORESTRY INDUSTRY (2017)
Pulp & paper product manufacturing
Wood product manufacturing