Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
Data Information and Reporting for Indicator B.b.
Oregon Indicator of Sustainable Forest Management B.b.
Forest-related employment and wages

Forestry Program for Oregon Strategy B:
Indicator B.b. is one of four indicators that will measure progress towards achieving Forestry Program for Oregon Strategy B:  Ensure that Oregon's forests provide diverse social and economic outputs and benefits valued by the public in a fair, balanced, and efficient manner.
Quick Links -
Other Indicators for
Stategy B Reporting

Desired trend:
Forest-related Oregon employment and compensation are stable or increasing.

At-a-Glance: Condition, Trend, and Information

Symbol: Poor
Symbol: Deteriorating

Why is this indicator important?
A photo of a forest products manufacturing facility in the Willamette Valley producing wood products
Forest products manufacturing in the Willamette Valley
Maintaining and enhancing rural economies is very important to Oregonians. Many communities in rural Oregon have fallen behind the state’s more populated areas in economic well-being. In addition to ameliorating current high unemployment and poverty levels, domestic violence, and other social problems in rural areas, healthy rural economies benefit urban areas because of the economic interdependence between the two.  It is also often difficult for remote rural communities to adjust to economic change. Maintaining and enhancing public and private forest-sector employment and wages is an important part of ensuring the economic vitality of rural Oregon.

What does this indicator tell us about sustainable forest management?


Condition is classified as poor.  Oregon employment and worker compensation, in both rural and urban areas, showed strong growth from 2003-2009.  Not so for rural forest-dependent communities where employment and wages declined.  Specific to this metric, forest-related employment in rural forest-dependent communities declined by more than one-third from 2003-2009.  This decline was caused by the national credit crisis and the continuing housing downturn, which continues to affect forest product mills in rural forest-dependent communities throughout the state.  Increased demand from China for lumber and logs has recently given lumber and timber markets a boost.
Even when timber harvests were high and lumber and plywood production remained strong, mills continued to become more efficient and used less labor than in the past.  In addition, strong employment growth experienced in previous decades in secondary manufacturing has not continued.


Trend is rated as deteriorating because of the long and steady downward trend in employment and compensation.  As shown in the report, below, forest-related employment will be highly correlated with wood products manufacturing employment.  Recovery in employment and wages is expected to be weak over the next several years.
Forest-related employment and compensation in rural forest-dependent areas has been decreasing and will be weak for the foreseeable future.  Credit for new construction is difficult to obtain, the national housing market remains in a slump, and non-housing construction in Oregon and nationally is forecasted to be weak over the next several years.
Until recently, timber and forest products prices have dropped, followed by lower timber harvesting and forest products mills closing.  With lower harvests and forest products production came lower employment and compensation in rural forest-dependent communities. 


Annually updated forest-related employment and compensation information is available.  Oregon Department of Forestry Geographic Information Systems (GIS) information and employment and compensation information from the Oregon Employment Department were merged for the indicator metrics.
GIS information is now available to separate Oregon forest sector employment information into rural and urban areas and by forest-dependent communities, while still meeting data confidentiality requirements.  The data are current and regularly updated from reliable referenced sources.
This indicator uses the same GIS information as indicator C.a., Area of non-federal forestland and development trends, and will be updated every five years by the Oregon Department of Forestry.  Employment and wage information will be updated annually by the Oregon Employment Department.

Report: Wood Products and Forest-Related Employment
Chart showing Oregon Wood Products Manufacturing and All Forest-Related Employment, by thousand jobs, 2003-2009 and projected 2011-2015

Report: Forest-Related Employment in Oregon
Chart: Forest-Related Employment in Oregon Rural, Forest-Dependent, and Urban Areas, 2003 - 2009

Report: Forest-Related Wages in Oregon
Chart: Forest-Related Wages in Oregon Rural, Forest-Dependent, and Urban Areas, 2003 - 2009

Evaluations by the Oregon Roundtable on Sustainable Forests on this indicator

Metrics and Data Sources

Data Source
Forest-related employment in rural and urban areas and in forest-dependent communitiesOregon Employment Department
Oregon Department of Forestry
Forest-related wages and salaries in rural and urban areas and in forest-dependent communitiesOregon Employment Department
Oregon Department of Forestry

Related State, National, or International Indicators
  • Montreal Process: Criterion 6 - Maintenance and enhancements of long-term multiple socio-economic benefits to meet the needs of societies: 2003 Indicator 44: Employment in the forest sector and the forest sector employment as a proportion of total employment; 2003 Indicator 45: Average wage rates; 2003 Indicator 46: Viability and adaptability to changing economic conditions of forest dependent communities; 2010 Indicator 36: Employment in the forest sector; and 2010 Indicator 37: Average wage rates, annual average income and annual injury rates in major forest employment categories
  • Oregon Benchmarks: Business Vitality - 1: Percent of Oregon jobs outside the I-5 Corridor and Deschutes County; 4: Net job growth rural/urban
  • Oregon Benchmarks: Income - 12: Average annual payroll per covered worker; 15: Oregon unemployment rate
  • Canadian Council of Forest Ministers: Criterion 5: social and economics benefits: Indicator 5.2.2, Distribution of financial benefits from the timber products industry; Indicator 5.3.5: Employment; Indicator 5.3.6: Average income in major employment categories