South Carolina Forestry Commission officials announced the economic impact of the state’s forestry sector Thursday, citing a recently commissioned Economic Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) study.
The study said forestry and forest products-related industries generated a $23.2 billion impact on the Palmetto State’s economy. The Forestry Commission study also revealed that forestry generates more than 100,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in labor income.
The results of the economic impact analysis of 2020 data were presented by study led by Dr. Joey Von Nessen, a research economist with the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business, at the Forestry Association of South Carolina’s 2022 annual meeting.
The total economic output of forestry grew 9.6% since the last report published in 2019. The other factors analyzed – employment, labor income and value-added metrics – increased by 1.9%, 12.5%, and 8.0%, respectively.
“Forestry is a critical industry to our state. Among the manufacturing industries, forestry is ranked #1 in employment, #2 in labor income and value-added, and #3 in economic output,” said State Forester Scott Phillips, executive director of the commission. “While our forests make significant contributions to the economy of our state, they also produce clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities that attract people to South Carolina, making our forests an integral part of the fabric of life here.”
According to Dr. Von Nessen, the growth in the industry was largely a factor of an increase in demand for forest products, such as construction materials and sanitary paper products, and the resulting rise in commodity prices.
“As much as forestry grew in 2020, I anticipate the economic impact to be even higher when we study 2021 data,” said Dr. Tim Adams, resource development division director with the Forestry Commission. “Population growth and the resulting demand for forestry products reached record levels in that year, so we’re already excited about the follow-up report next year.”
The full economic impact study is available on the SCFC website at the link below: