Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that a study by the Georgia Institute of Technology for the Georgia Forestry Commission shows that in 2011, economic activity generated by the forestry industry topped $25 billion in output and provided 118,459 jobs.
"I am proud to see our state retain its position as a national forestry leader," said Deal. "Our 24 million acres of forests are one of Georgia's most valuable natural resources, and the dedication of the men and women in the forestry community drive that success. I'm confident our sustainably grown forests will be providing both economic and environmental benefits for generations of Georgians to come."
Highlights of the "Economic Benefits of the Forest Industry in Georgia: 2011" report include increases in output, compensation, employment and total economic impact, as well as impact statistics by region. The report shows that between 2010 and 2011:
Revenue generated directly by the forestry industry rose 4 percent to $15.1 billion.
Forest industry workers earned $2.9 billion in wages and salaries, up 13.3 percent.
Georgia's forest industry directly employed 46,378 people, up 6.8 percent, the first upward trend in four years.
Georgia's pulp and paper industry continued to dominate all sectors within the forest industry (over forest management/logging; lumber and wood preservation; veneer, plywood, and engineered wood; and secondary products) in revenue output, employment and compensation.
The industry generated more than $487 million in revenues for the state budget in 2011.
"We are very pleased that after three years of declines, Georgia's forest industry increased output, employment and compensation during 2011," said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Robert Farris. "Information from our recent mill survey indicates this trend has continued through 2012, and that Georgia's position as a national forestry leader will remain strong.
"This annual study is a valuable barometer of the importance of forestry to the state of Georgia and its citizens. The total impact of forestry in Georgia went up 5.6 percent between 2010 and 2011 to $25 billion. Another study by the University of Georgia Warnell School of Natural Resources shows that Georgia's forests provide $37 billion in ecosystem services. These benefits have a tremendous effect on every business, agency and family across the state of Georgia."
For the first time, the report provides a breakdown of employment and compensation in 12 regions of Georgia. According to Georgia Forestry Commission Marketing and Utilization Chief Nathan McClure, this analysis demonstrates forestry's crucial impact on the rural economies of southern and southeastern Georgia. "In the future, we expect the industry will show additional gains in central and eastern Georgia as the growing wood pellet and bioenergy industry develops," McClure said.
To read the 2011 report and to find out more about the services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit www.GaTrees.org.