Louisiana Forestry up Despite Paper Being Down
Despite the digital revolution taking reading off the pages of paperbacks and onto the screens of tablet, the Forestry Industry continues to grow in Louisiana, according to a report that says in 2015 it accounted for $13 billion in economic output, and one billion in inflation adjusted state and local taxes.
LSU Ag Center Professor Shaun Tanger says while paper is down, paper related products are up.
“It’s on the rise, especially in our exports, things like fluff pulp. Toilet paper, tissue paper, things that like, as all of these other countries, especially as other countries like India, grow their middle class.”
The report says the forestry industry accounted for 290 million dollars of income through 4,000 jobs, and 30.8 million in state taxes in East Baton Rouge Parish alone.
The Forest Economics professor says the industry accounts for roughly 50,000 jobs state wide through direct and indirect employment, and that it’s been on a statewide uptick for nearly a decade.
“Every time I look at these (charts), as we move away from the recession in 2008, 2009, from about 2010 on we see a pretty steady upward trend.”
Tanger says the increase in shipping needs from companies like Amazon has also helped buoy the industry, along with a rebounding housing market, but warns that there could be a bump in the road just ahead.
“Were seeing growth in housing, even though it’s slow, it’s steadily moving up. There may be ups and downs, certainly we expect a recession in the next year or two.”