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Georgia Tech report: Trees make money for state
Forestry workers make more than in other industries
Pine trees used in the pulp paper industry are the most common forestry products in our area. - photo by Photo provided.

Employees working in forestry earned more in wages and salaries in 2014 than people in any other Georgia manufacturing industry, according to a report issued by the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Georgia’s forest industry ranked first in the state for compensation, with workers earning $3.03 billion, an increase of 3 percent from the previous year. The report said the forestry industry supported 48,740 jobs, ranking third among manufacturing sectors, behind the food processing and textile industries. That is a 1.2 percent increase from 2013, with the pulp and paper industry continuing to dominate all sectors within the industry. It was the fourth consecutive year of positive job growth.

“This annual report continues to reflect important gains for the forestry industry,” Georgia Forestry Commission Director Robert Farris said. “Across the board we’re seeing steady growth in many categories, and that’s good news for forestry and for the state of Georgia.”

Figures cited in 2014 Economic Benefits of the Forestry Industry in Georgia show the total fiscal impact of the forest industry rose to nearly $28.7 billion, a 2.4 percent increase from 2013. The forest industry provided the state with $721 million in tax revenues for 2014, with net state revenues generated by the industry rising by $11 million, or 3.2 percent. That figure is approximately double the 2011 revenue total.

A analysis of the report by Risher Willard, utilization chief for the Georgia Forestry Commission, shows both urban and rural economies in the state rely heavily on forestry.

“Georgia’s forestry industry is one of the key sources of funds flowing into many local economies,” Willard said. “Of Georgia’s 12 regional commissions, the top three with the largest employment in the forestry industry are the Atlanta Regional Commission, Southern Georgia and the Heart of Georgia Altamaha, respectively. Atlanta Regional has close to 11,000 with the remainder of the top three showing more than 4,500 jobs each.”

For a fact sheet about the report, a complete copy of 2014 Economic Benefits of the Forestry Industry in Georgia, and information about services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, go to

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