Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Forest products industry -- Oregon -- Employees, Forest products industry -- Oregon -- Statistics, Labor productivity -- Oregon

Physical Description

31 pages


Employment in the wood products industry in Oregon has declined over the past decade despite a recent resurgence in demand for the industry's products. Reviewing employment and productivity data over the last decade, it is apparent that wood products employment in the state has been reduced as a result of productivity increases. Thus the industry processed more timber in 1986 than in 1979, but with about fifteen percent fewer workers. Continued reductions in wood products employment pose potentially serious adjustment problems because much of rural Oregon remains heavily dependent economically on the industry. There are also indications that timber supply reductions will occur in the future, which would limit the industry's output and further reduce employment.

This paper examines the dynamics of employment change in Oregon's wood products industry. We decompose the change in employment over the past decade into categories associated with structural and productivity factors. An input-output analysis of changes in the composition of the industry's output is also undertaken to estimate the economic consequences of structural change. Following the more general analysis, we then examine several issues of recent importance in the state, namely, a ban on the export of logs harvested from state forests and the economic impacts of harvest limitations in the federal forests associated with the spotted owl controversy

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