Forestry generates $21.2 billion impact on SC's economy

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Monday, November 11th, 2019

State Forester Scott Phillips, agency head of the South Carolina Forestry Commission, announced the economic impact of forestry in South Carolina Thursday, citing the agency's most recent Economic Impact Analysis for Planning study.

In detailing the $21.2 billion impact that the allied sectors of forestry and forest products-related industries generate on the Palmetto State's economy, Phillips also revealed that forestry provides more than 98,000 jobs and $4.9 billion in labor income.

"IMPLAN updates are a pulse check on the health of forestry in South Carolina," said Dr. Tim Adams, Resource Development Division Director with the SC Forestry Commission and lead author of the economic impact study.  "Based on this check-up, South Carolina's forest industry has recovered from the Great Recession, and our prognosis is for continued growth.

The pulp and paper industry produces more than the economic footprint of all other sectors combined - solid wood products, timber, logging, forest recreation and furniture - with a contribution of nearly $12.8 billion. Compared to other leading industries in the state, forestry ranks #1 in jobs, #2 in labor income and #3 in direct economic output.

"Recent announcements and new investments in our industry along with our strong timberland base will ensure that forestry will continue to be an important part of South Carolina's growing economy," said State Forester Scott Phillips. "And while producing all these positive economic impacts, the active management of our forests also produces clean air, clean water, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat and the beautiful aesthetics that draw people to our state."

The full economic impact study is available on the Forestry Commission's website at the following link: www.trees.sc.gov/pubs/scfcimplaneconomicimpactstudy2018-web.pdf.