A new report by Forest Economic Advisors (FEA), commissioned by the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB), highlights the importance of softwood lumber manufacturing to the U.S. economy and, in particular, the health of rural communities. Through both direct manufacture and via downstream industries that use softwood lumber as a primary input, FEA estimates that 775,674 jobs, with a total payroll of more than $46 billion, are tied to the softwood lumber manufacturing industry. These jobs, found in 509 operating sawmills, impact 464 mostly rural communities across 32 states.
Using wood obtained through sustainable forestry practices in green building applications promotes a healthy environment and a strong economy. A recent lifecycle analysis found that harvesting, transporting, manufacturing, and using wood in lumber and panel products in building yields fewer air emissions–including greenhouse gases–than the resource extraction, manufacture, and use of other common building materials. In fact, wood-based wall systems can require significantly less total energy for manufacturing than thermally comparable houses using other materials.