Economic Value

Millions of jobs, billions of dollars

The economic impact of privately-owned forests in the United States

Private working forests serve as an economic engine for rural America and beyond. These forests generate jobs and dozens of everyday products, enhance plant and animal habitats, and provide numerous recreational opportunities.

Private forest landowners on a national level account for:

  • Jobs — 2.4 million jobs
  • Wages — $87 billion in payroll
  • Sales — $223 billion in sales
  • Industry — 5.7 percent of all U.S. manufacturing
  • GDP — $101 billion
  • Revenues — $110 billion from wildlife watching, fishing & hunting

For every job created in the U.S. that is directly forest-related, another two jobs are created that are indirectly related. Such jobs are in transportation, distribution, and sales of forest products, and add another 3.8 million jobs to the U.S. economy.

How we manage our working forests is a key factor to America’s economic success

The U.S. forest products industry produces $200 billion in annual sales and employs about one million workers. The forest production industry also is the leading generator and user of renewable energy. Not only is the forest industry important to the U.S. economy, forest recreation generates significant revenue in rural towns and states. Spending on hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching generates $110.6 billion.

There are 12.5 million hunters, 30 million anglers, and 71 million wildlife-watchers in the United States.  More than half of all hunters (57%) hunt only on private lands, while 24% hunt on both private and public lands.