FP Industry in NC

According to the most recent data released by North Carolina State University Extension Forestry, the forest products industry continues to be the state’s top manufacturing industry. The data was released in May of 2016 and tracks the forest products industry up to 2013.


The report details the following highlights:

The forest products industry in North Carolina has direct and indirect impacts on the state’s economy. In terms of direct impact, there are more than 1,000 companies directly contributing to North Carolina’s forest economy, employing over 70,000 individuals. Industrial output from the forestry sector contributes $18.5 billion in gross sales. This sector paid a total of $912 million in local, state and federal taxes.

When you consider a multiplier effect commonly used in economic studies, the forest products industry employs 145,000 people and contributed $29.4 billion to the economy.

The forest products industry continues it tradition to colonial times as being a top exporter of various forest products. The export totals include to other states and other countries. Exports were valued at $13.7 billion, including $12.2 billion to other states and $1.47 billion to other countries. North Carolina’s paper manufacturing sector is the largest contributor to forest-based exports. North Carolina leads the South in the port value of logs and wood products exports since 2004.

Not included in this data, but equally important, are the contributions that our forests make to the state’s environment and to other industries such as tourism.  The economic value of clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation is enormous.

While North Carolina is one of the fastest growing states, the forestland base that provides the raw material for this industry remains healthy and plentiful thanks to the efforts of forest landowners and foresters across the state.

According to the most recent data, North Carolina is home to 18.6 million acres of forestland, 85% of which is privately owned.  Approximately 64% of these privately held lands are owned by non-industrial landowners.  Despite the enormous growth our state has witnessed, 60% of North Carolina is still covered by forests.