In 2018, Canada’s forest sector employed 210,615 people, essentially stable (-0.34%) between 2017 and 2018.
- Employment in pulp and paper and wood product manufacturing decreased between 2017 and 2018, by 1.65% and 1.38%, respectively.
- The only gain in employment occurred within in-forest jobs, which grew by 2.88% between 2017 and 2018. Some of this growth may be attributed to fire-related activities.
- The pulp and paper and the wood product manufacturing industries both faced challenges in 2018. These challenges included the continuing decline in demand for paper products and lower commodity prices for wood products, which along with others, have impacted employment.
The total number of jobs should always be considered alongside wages and other indicators. With advances in technology, fewer workers are required to produce the same level of output, but those jobs tend to be more skilled and more highly paid. (See the sustainability indicator Average Earnings.)
Forest industry direct employment, 2008–2018
The bar graph shows the relative distribution of forest industry direct employment from pulp and paper product manufacturing, wood product manufacturing and in-forest activities. The total number of jobs peeks in 2008 and decreased in 2009, afterward the total number of jobs fluctuates slightly until the present. The proportion of jobs from wood product manufacturing is always higher than the other two industries with pulp and paper product manufacturing and in-forest activities having similar proportions of jobs.
|Year||Pulp and paper product manufacturing||Wood product manufacturing||In-forest activities|
Why is this indicator important?
- The Canadian forest sector is an important employer nationwide and contributes to the economic and social welfare of all Canadians.
- Forestry’s contribution is particularly important in many rural and Indigenous communities, in which forest-related work is often the main source of income.
What is the outlook?
- Several challenges could impact employment, such as slower economic growth forecasted for 2019 and volatile commodity prices. Also, the impact of fires and pests on the fibre supply could affect forest sector employment in the short term. Yet the positive market perspective for several forest products (packaging, lumber) could drive an increase in production and employment. The short-term outlook for forest sector employment will depend on the interplay between these drivers of production.
- In the long term, forest sector diversification through the bioeconomy (e.g. mass timber products for tall wood building construction) will create new job opportunities in Canada’s forest sector.
What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?
- Montreal Process (MP): 6.3.a [Select language]
Sources and information
- Statistics Canada. Table 36-10-0489-01 (formerly CANSIM 383-0031): Labour statistics consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA), by job category and industry. (accessed May 22, 2019).
- Data include NAICS 113, 1153, 322, and 321.
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