Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oregon's Timber Economy

Over at the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, Josh Lehner has done yet another fascinating post, this time on Oregon's wood product industry.  Go there and read the entire thing, its worth your time, but I'll whet your appetite with two graphs.

The first is a look at the historical employment in the wood products industry in Oregon:

And the second is wood products as a percentage of oregon GDP:

As you can clearly see from these graphs, Oregon just isn't a timber driven state anymore.  What is remarkable to me is how relatively steady was the timber-based employment in the state until about 1990.  It falls off a bit earlier in terms of state GDP but that includes both the fall off of timber-based income and the growth of a more diverse economy.

There is much more in Josh's post, including timber payments to rural counties and the overall timber harvest, but these two graphs would be in chapter 1 of the book on the economic history of Oregon.

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