Indicator: Forest sector average earnings
In 2019, average earnings across the forest sector increased slightly from 2018 levels. They increased by 4.6% between 2018 and 2019, almost reaching 2016 levels – the highest in 10 years – with an average of about $54,000 annually. However, average earnings tend to be volatile year-over-year, but with a fairly stable underlying trend since 2001.
- Between 2018 and 2019, only the pulp and paper manufacturing subsector saw a significant increase in average earnings, with a bump of 10.8%. This increase was the result of a combination of salaries slightly increasing combined with employment decreasing, as the least productive mills of that subsector ceased operations.
- The wood product manufacturing and in-forest activities subsectors both posted slight increases, of 1.3% and 0.7%, respectively, combined with stable employment.
- Overall, average earnings in the forest sector out-performed average earnings for all manufacturing, with the latter experiencing a modest 2.3% increase between 2018 and 2019. They have both been following a similar trend since 2001.
Average earnings refers to the average net annual income per person directly employed in the forest sector, not including overtime pay.
Average earnings in the forest sector compared with all manufacturing sectors, 2009 to 2019
Average annual earnings for the forestry and logging subsector rose steadily from a low of $45,000/year in 2009, to a high of $53,000/year in 2019.
Average annual earnings for the pulp and paper products manufacturing subsector rose between 2009 and 2019, but with more annual variability than the other forest subsectors. Average annual earnings were lowest at $55,000/year, in 2009 and rose to $63,000/year in 2019, but had notable drops in 2014 ($56,000/year), and 2018 ($57,000/year).
Average annual earnings for the wood product manufacturing subsector rose steadily from a low of $43,000/year in 2009, to $47,000/year in 2019, with a spike in 2017 to $51,000/year.
Average annual earnings across all manufacturing sectors have remained steady from 2009 to 2019 at about $50,000/year. Average annual earnings were lowest at $49,000/year in 2009, and highest at $52,000/year in 2015. In 2019, the average net annual earnings across all manufacturing sectors was $51,000/year.
|Year||Forestry and logging||Pulp and paper product manufacturing||Wood product manufacturing||All manufacturing|
Why is this indicator important?
- Trends in forest sector average earnings indicate the importance of the sector 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 sector employees.
What is the outlook?
- Moody’s Analytics forecasts the coronavirus-related economic slowdown will adversely impact the forest sector over the short term, which could in turn drag down recent gains in average earnings.
- In the longer term, average earnings could recover as the forest sector continues its transformation towards the bioeconomy and remaining forest sector activities increase productivity.
What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?
- Montréal Process: 6.3.b
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: 8.5.1
Sources and information
- Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0204-01 (formerly CANSIM 281-0027) Average weekly earnings by industry, annual. (accessed March 30, 2020).
- Statistics Canada. Table 18-10-0005-01 (formerly CANSIM 326-0021) Consumer Price Index, annual average, not seasonally adjusted. (accessed March 30, 2020).
- The data excludes overtime.
- The 2019 average earnings were calculated using the Consumer Price Index re-based to 2012 values. This method matches the one used for the previous report in which all data prior to 2018 were updated as well according to current method.
- Issues of The State of Canada’s Forests: Annual Report prior to 2018 calculated real average earnings using GDP at market prices as the measure of inflation. More recent issues of The State of Canada’s Forests: Annual Report use the Consumer Price Index (including volatile commodities) because it is a better indicator of the spending power of Canadians.
- Additional information can be found at:
- Canadian Forest Industries. Coronavirus will drive paper, forest products price lower: Moody’s.
- Canadian Forest Industries. FEA: forest products will ‘bounce back’ after sharp decline in mid-2020.
- Pulp & Paper Canada. Let’s talk tissue: Market outlook for 2020. An update on tissue industry trends in North America and beyond going into 2020.
- Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service. Industry – Overview.
- Date modified: