Jobs & Economics

The Promise:

  • 200 direct, 300 indirect for 660,000 m3 of wood have been promised.

The Reality and some Facts:

  • Equals 3,300 m3 of wood per job;
  • Ontario needs 246 m3 to create one job (NB currently: 775 m3);
  • In an Environment Canada report from 2000 (The Importance of Nature to Canadians – The Economic Significance of Nature-Related Activities), over 70 million $ were spent in 1996 on hunting and fishing in NB, with a total of 208 million spent on all nature-related activities. The Maple Syrup industry helps support 300 producers, with 12-15 million in value (2004 figures);
  • Maine and New Hampshire are able to employ twice as many workers with the same forest resource. Vermont and Ontario create  4.3 and 5.5 times the number of jobs compared to New Brunswick using the same amount of resource.  Vermont, with a population and rural culture similar to New Brunswick, creates 7,299 jobs with 660,000 cubic metres of forest resource.  Ontario creates  9,214 jobs;
  • Efficiency upgrades are not job creators;
  • About 12,300 people work in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying and oil and gas, combined, out of a labour force of about 352,000 ; equals 3.4 % of our labour force.
  • From 1960 to 2000, jobs created through the use of timber have declined from 2.3 jobs / 1000 cubic m to 1.3 jobs / 1000 cubic m (-43%).
  • The strategy proposes to create 500 jobs for 660,000 cubic m, or 0.8 jobs / 1000 cu m.

A comparison with Nova Scotia:

  • 3.5 million acres, or 24% of NS land base is Crown land.
  • The NS Registry of Wood Buyers Annual Reports provide yearly information about How much wood harvested (softwood, hardwood), where this wood came from (private, crown, industrial), where the wood was used (in NS, exported), and where it was used in the province (pulp, sawmills).
  • The reports also provide information on the number and sizes of active sawmills.
  • In 2012, 57% of wood harvested came from private lands, 15% from Crown, and 28% from industrial land.
  • Of the total harvested (3.4 m3), 87% was softwood, 18% hardwood.
  • 86% of the softwood harvested was used in Nova Scotia.
  • Overall, 8% of all wood harvested was exported.
  • In 2012, there were 110 saw mills actively operating in NS, of which 70 were small-medium scale.


NB Naturalist – Our Forests-Nos forêts, the special edition of Nature NB’s magazine, contains an article related about this issue. Download the magazine here.

  • Rob Moir and Garth Hood on forestry jobs and forest management. Full article here.
  • Stephen Wyatt and Michel Soucy asking the question if NB receives fair market value for our timber. Full article here.