We all kind of know that the forestry industry is important to B.C., but esp. in Urban Vancouver we lose sight of the fact. Granted, the resource sector is no longer the be all and end all, but it’s still a heavyweight. It’s got some pretty rough times ahead, and I believe we’ll start to feel the effects 6 or 12 months down the road (disclaimer: I’m a money coach, not an economist. This is just my amateur ‘armchair’ take, as I see it!). Here’s the scoop, and why we should care:
Forestry remains B.C.’s #1 export – nearly 40% of all total exports. Interesting Factoid: The industry pays its staff 20% more than all other industries, on average.
It’s been pummelled.
1. The housing crisis in the US = construction slowdown (to say the least) = crash in demand for lumber, and our forestry industry is not really diversified across the globe.
2. Pine Beetle – has destroyed the equivalent of a decade’s worth of timber
3. Our rising dollar is impacting all exports, ie., our goods are less attractive now that they cost more.
4. Rising energy costs.
Why we should care? British Columbian’s relationship to the forestry industry has always been a complicated one… environment/jobs/heavy industry lobby groups etc. But the fact remains, that if a sector that generates 40% of our exports starts to tank, we’re all in trouble.