A new economic study released by the B.C. Council of Forest industries (COFI) finds that the B.C. forest industry generates significant economic activity and employment in every region of the province – with 140,000 jobs employing British Columbians in urban and rural communities alike.
The report, conducted by PwC, assesses the economic impact of the forest industry in seven regions of B.C. as defined by Statistics Canada, as well as employment rates of B.C.’s Indigenous population in forestry. It provides a region-by-region overview of jobs, economic activity and forestry activities, highlighting how the 140,000 jobs are distributed, and how they contribute to the health and economic prosperity of communities throughout British Columbia.
“B.C.’s forest industry has long been the cornerstone of the provincial economy and one of the largest employers in the province,” says Susan Yurkovich, president & CEO of the BC Council of Forest Industries. “This new study confirms that not only does the forest industry generate significant jobs and economic activity for the province overall, but these benefits can be found in every corner of the province – from Vancouver Island to the Interior, Lower Mainland to the Kootenays, and North Coast, Okanagan and Northeast regions of the province.”
The study notes that forestry is highly interdependent across B.C. with partially processed or finished goods flowing between regions, generating economic impact across the province. It highlights that in five of the seven regions, forestry jobs account for eight to 22 per cent of total jobs in the region (Cariboo, Kootenays, Northeast, North Coast & Nechako, and Thompson-Okanagan), and generates one in five jobs in three regions: Cariboo (22 per cent), Northeast (20 per cent) and North Coast & Nechako (19 per cent).