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Employment changes in U.S. hardwood lumber consuming industries during economic expansions and contractions since 1991

Informally Refereed
Authors: William G. Luppold, Matt Bumgardner
Year: 2016
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: BioResources. 11(2): 3123-3135.


Understanding employment trends is important for discerning the economic vitality of U.S. hardwood lumber users. After a period of growth in the 1990s, employment in industries consuming hardwood lumber has declined in the 21st century. The wood household furniture industry has experienced the greatest decline, with North Carolina, Virginia, and California being the states most affected. Nearly all of the decline in employment in the furniture industry can be attributed to increased importation of this product. Millwork and kitchen cabinets are industries associated with home construction. Both of these industries experienced declines in employment in the 21st century. Employment in millwork started to decline after 2000, while employment in the kitchen cabinet industry started to decline after 2006. While there was little change in the relative regional employment rankings in the millwork industry, Indiana displaced California and Texas to become the largest employer in the kitchen cabinet industry. Employment in the pallet industry has declined in the 21st century, but mostly during the two recessionary periods. The pallet industry was the only industry that had an employment increase after 2009. Ohio was once the major pallet producing state, but it was displaced by California and Texas after 2002.


Hardwood lumber processors, Kitchen cabinets, Millwork, Pallets, Secondary hardwood industry, Wood household furniture


Luppold, William G.; Bumgardner, Matthew S. 2016. Employment changes in US hardwood lumber consuming industries during economic expansions and contractions since 1991. BioResources. 11(2): 3123-3135.