Kentucky Forest Sector Economic Contribution
View the Latest Kentucky Forest Sector Economic Contribution
Forests cover nearly half the state of Kentucky and are the foundation of a forest sector that is a major economic force in the Commonwealth. This webpage contains the latest Kentucky forest sector economic contribution estimates, prior estimates, links to data sources and methods, as well as additional information related to the economic importance of Kentucky’s forest resources.
The 2022 economic contributions of Kentucky’s forest sector include:
- $9.08 billion in direct economic contribution
- $13.5 billion in total economic contributions
- 25,825 jobs in the forest sector and an estimated 49,109 jobs overall
The Kentucky Forest Sector is divided into six sub-sectors:
- Primary Wood Manufacturing
- Pulp and Paper
- Secondary Wood Manufacturing
- Paper Converters
- Wood Residue
Each of these sub-sectors is comprised of multiple forest businesses.
Direct Employment and Economic Sub-Sectors
Figure 4 shows the direct employment and direct economic contribution of each of the Kentucky forest sub-sectors.
Distribution of Kentucky’s Forest Sector
Kentucky’s forests, which are mostly privately
owned, provide the majority of the timber for the Kentucky forest sector which processes it into many useful products used throughout the state and around the world. The economic contribution comes from timber resources in all 120 counties.
Figure 3 shows the concentration of Kentucky Master Loggers (required on logging operations) by county and the distribution of wood using industries across the state. In total, 2,272 Kentucky Master Loggers, located in
117 counties, work to harvest timber and deliver it to the 674 wood, paper, and paper-converting industries located in 114 counties throughout Kentucky. The distribution of these facilities indicates the importance of the forest sector to both rural and urban communities.
Other Economic Information:
- 2017 White Paper on The Ash Disaster in Kentucky: Economic and Landowner Impacts of Losing Kentucky’s Ash Trees to the Emerald Ash Borer
- 2018 White Paper on Ambrosia Beetle Damage to Dead Ash in KY: Prevalence and Economic Impact to Loggers in Northern Kentucky
- Previous Economic Reports
- Past News Conferences
- Economic Impact of the Closing of the Verso Pulp and Paper Facility in Wickliffe, KY