BACKGROUND: BC FOREST INDUSTRY

The BC forest sector has long been the cornerstone of the provincial economy and one of the largest employers in province.  The industry is adapting, evolving and innovating, and continues to be one of the most significant economic drivers in the province.

Jobs

  • Forestry creates approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in BC.
  • One in 16 jobs in BC is dependent on forestry, and one in four manufacturing jobs are in the forest sector.
  • There are 140 forest-dependent communities in BC.
  • Forest related activities support 7,000 businesses in the province. 

Economy

  • BC’s forest industry contributes about $12 billion to the provincial GDP every year, of which about half comes from softwood lumber production.
  • Taxes, stumpage and other fees from the industry overall provide about $2.5 billion in revenues to all three levels of government.
  • About $1.4 billion of this amount goes to provincial revenues which are used to fund essential services like education, health care and transportation.

Trade:

  • Since 2006, the BC forest sector has worked hard to successfully diversify its export markets, working in partnership with Natural Resources Canada, and the province of British Columbia.
  • Today, about 85% of BC’s softwood lumber production is exported to international markets. About 50% of production is exported to the U.S., almost 35% to overseas. markets such as China, Japan, Korea and India, and 15% is sold within BC and Canada.
  • Shipments to China have increased substantially from around 300 million board feet in the last decade to over 2.5 billion board feet in 2014.