Forest Products Manufacturing is Important to the Biobased Products Economy

Wood Products Extension collaborated with Duke University’s Center for Sustainability and Commerce and NC State’s Supply Chain Resource Cooperative to produce, “An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry: A Report to the Congress of the United States of America.” This technical report was prepared for the US Department of Agriculture BioPreferred® program and the Congress of the United States of America as mandated within the 2014 Farm Bill. The report was highlighted in a news release issued by USDA (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/06/0175.xml&contentidonly=true).

Seven major overarching sectors that represent the US biobased products industry were analyzed: Agriculture and Forestry, Biorefining, Biobased Chemicals, Enzymes, Bioplastic Bottles and Packaging, Forest Products, and Textiles. The report focused specifically bioproducts, therefore the energy, livestock, food, feed, and pharmaceuticals sectors were excluded.

Briefly, 1.5 million jobs were directly associated with biobased products industry production, which resulted in additional production that supported 1.1 million jobs in supply chain industries. Purchases of goods and services by these 2.6 million workers induced even more production that supported another 1.4 million jobs.

Similarly, $126 billion in value added was generated directly by the biobased products industry. This triggered spillover effects of another $126 billion in indirect value added and $117 billion in induced value added. The total contribution of the biobased products industry to the U.S. economy in 2013 was $369 billion in value added and employment of four million workers. States with the greatest concentrations of biobased products industrial activities were Mississippi, Oregon, Maine, Wisconsin, Idaho, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas, and South Dakota.

The leading generator of biobased economic activities in 2013 was Forest Products, which included Wood Products, Paper, and Wood Furniture Manufacturing. Forest Products directly employed nearly 1.1 million workers and produced $94.1 billion in value added, or about three fourths of all the direct contributions of the biobased products industry. Accounting for its indirect and induced effects moved Forest Products’ total contributions to $333.6 billion in value added and 3.54 million employees.

“An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry: A Report to the Congress of the United States of America” can be found at http://www.biopreferred.gov/BPResources/files/EconomicReport_6_12_2015.pdf.