A new report shows Georgia’s forest industry continues to deliver strong results for the state’s economy. According to a Georgia Forestry Commission report provided by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, total economic activity generated by the state’s forest industry rose to $36.2 billion between 2017 and 2018. Additional gains were recorded in employment and wages and salaries, as documented in the “2018 Economic Benefits of Forestry in Georgia” report.

“The state’s forest industry supports more than 148,000 jobs in Georgia,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams, “and each of them contributes significantly to our quality of life. From everyday products such as lumber and paper to environmental services such as clean air, clean water and wildlife habitat, Georgia’s forests impact everyone.”

Highlights of the report show Georgia’s forest industry:

  • generated $977 million in state government revenues.
  • provided $110 million for the state budget (an increase of 12% over 2017).
  • continues to be led by the pulp and paper industry sector with 61% of output, 36% of
  • employment and 44% of compensation paid to employees.

The report shows the top three employment regions in Georgia for forestry related jobs are Atlanta, Southern Georgia, and Coastal Georgia. These areas account for almost half of the forestry related jobs in the state.

Georgia boasts more than 24.5 million acres of forestland, with almost all of its timberland (23.9 million acres) privately owned. Forest growth exceeds removals by 48% annually. Timber is growing at a rate of 65 cubic feet per second, or two tons per second.

In addition to lumber, Georgia’s 216 primary wood using industries convert logs into products such as poles and posts, wood pulp and energy products such as wood pellets. Approximately 1,100 secondary manufacturers convert wood products into furniture, manufacture homes and buildings, paper products and more.