Biological Diversity Ecosystem Condition and Productivity Soil and Water Role in Global Ecological Cycles Economic and Social Benefits Society's Responsibility
Economic and Social Benefits Distribution of Benefits Sustainability of Benefits
Indicator 5.3.1 - Annual harvest of timber relative to the level of harvest deemed to be sustainable Indicator 5.3.2 - Annual harvest of nontimber forest products relative to the level of harvest deemed to be sustainable Indicator 5.3.3 - Return on capital employed Indicator 5.3.4 - Productivity index Indicator 5.3.5 - Direct, indirect, and induced employment Indicator 5.3.6 - Average income in major employment categories
Indicator 5.3.5 - Direct, indirect, and induced employment
core indicator


Direct employment refers to employment directly related to the production of forest products or services. As a result of this direct employment, employment is also generated in the businesses that supply goods and services to the forest sector. This is referred to as indirect employment. Finally, when these directly and indirectly generated incomes are spent and respent on a variety of items in the broader economy (e.g., food, clothing, entertainment), it gives rise to induced employment effects.

Stable employment is a clear indication of the sustainable economic well-being of individuals and communities. Employment from the forest sector is an important contributor toward community stability, particularly rural communities that tend to be mostly resource-dependant.

The wood products manufacturing subsector of the forest industry is the only subsector whose employment levels have increased since 1987 (Figure 5.3f). Employment levels in the forestry and logging subsector have remained relatively constant with only modest increases over the past decade and have begun to decline in recent years. The paper manufacturing subsector's employment figures have declined by about 1% per year over the past decade. This corresponds to major increases in labor productivity, mostly from the introduction of new technology, over the same time period, as noted under Indicator 5.3.4. Since 1992, the wood products manufacturing subsector has been the growth leader in the forest sector, with an average annual growth rate of 3.9% and net job gains of over 59 900.

Figure 5.3f

Figure 5.3f Direct employment (logging and forestry, wood, and paper subsectors). (Source: Statistics Canada 2006b)
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Focusing on recent data, 339 900 people were employed in the forest industry in 2005. This represents a loss of more than 8% from a peak of 370 400 people employed in 2003. Employment levels in the forest industry have followed a cyclical pattern with peaks in 1988, 2000, and 2003 and troughs in 1992, 1999, and 2001. Much of the recent decline since 2003 has been due to declines in the wood products manufacturing subsector and several mill closures in the pulp and paper sector.

Research undertaken recently at the Canadian Forest Service has estimated the ripple effects of direct employment in the Canadian forest industry on jobs in the other sectors of the Canadian economy (i.e., indirect and induced employment effects). This study demonstrates that for every job in the forest industry, 1.7 jobs are created in other sectors of the economy. In total, over 500 000 jobs in other sectors rely on the economic activity originating in the forest industry.

In 1999, according to Statistics Canada's Input-Output Model, the total of approximately 860 000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs generated by the Canadian forest industry was broken down as follows: direct jobs, 318 554 (about 40%); indirect jobs, 261500 (about 29%); and induced jobs, 280 000 (about 31%).