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.
|Year||Forestry and logging||Pulp and paper product manufacturing||Wood product manufacturing||All manufacturing|
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.
- Statistics Canada. CANSIM table 281-0027: Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH), average weekly earnings by type of employee overtime status and detailed North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). (accessed March 28, 2017).
- Statistics Canada. CANSIM table 326-0020: Consumer Price Index. (accessed April 7, 2017).
- Additional information can be found at:
- Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service. Industry – Overview.
- 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.
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