Indicator: Average earnings

In 2016, average earnings in the forest industry increased by 2% over 2015 levels.

  • Wages have been largely stable in forestry and logging activities and in wood product manufacturing over the past couple of years.
  • Wages in pulp and paper manufacturing have increased markedly since 2014. In 2016, average earnings for a pulp and paper employee reached close to $67,000, a 5% year-over-year growth.
  • The upward trend in pulp and paper manufacturing can be attributed to both the closure of less efficient operations and the addition of new, higher-value product lines.
  • The growth in average earnings after inflation in the forest industry remains higher than in the overall manufacturing sector, which was flat between 2015 and 2016.

Average earnings refers to the average net annual income per person directly employed in the forest industry, not including overtime pay.

Average earnings in the forest industry compared with all manufacturing sectors, 2006–2016
Graph displaying the average earnings in 2007 dollars for workers in the forest industry subsectors: in-forest activities, wood products, pulp and paper products compared with all manufacturing sectors for each year between 2006 and 2016.
Graph data
Table displays the average income in Canadian dollars (2007) for workers in the forest industry subsectors: forestry and logging, wood products, pulp and paper products compared with all manufacturing sectors for each year between 2006 and 2016.
Year Forestry and logging Pulp and paper product manufacturing Wood product manufacturing All manufacturing
2006 45,136 51,990 40,362 44,978
2007 44,411 52,608 40,995 45,795
2008 44,971 50,965 40,989 45,756
2009 41,071 50,479 39,647 44,667
2010 44,771 55,229 40,561 45,609
2011 44,682 55,094 41,277 45,111
2012 44,578 54,620 42,484 45,427
2013 46,401 55,623 42,286 45,907
2014 45,212 51,398 41,903 46,097
2015 45,509 55,597 43,086 47,146
2016 47,361 57,720 43,719 47,039

Why is this indicator important?

  • Trends in forest industry average earnings indicate the importance of the industry to the economy and to the social well-being of Canadians, especially when compared with average earnings in other industries.
  • Real wage growth (meaning wage growth that isn’t the result of inflation) shows the change in actual purchasing power of forest industry employees.

What is the outlook?

  • Average earnings in the forest industry are expected to continue rising despite declines in total employment in some segments, such as pulp and paper.
  • Ongoing research and development activities in the bioeconomy are expected to result in the need for more highly skilled, highly paid employees.
Sources
Notes
  • Additional information can be found at:
  • Data exclude overtime.
  • Previous issues of The State of Canada’s Forest calculated real average earnings using GDP at market prices as the measure of inflation. This year, the Consumer Price Index (including volatile commodities) was used because it is a better indicator of the spending power of Canadians.