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Plenty of new jobs expected for lumber industry well into the future

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The Wood Industry Resource Collaborative (WIRC), a coalition of wood industry trade associations pursuing long-term growth of the industry by sustaining an engaged workforce, announced over 120,000 new wood industry jobs were posted in 2023, and that plenty of jobs will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. 

Retirements, and misalignment between job requirements and available talent led to the secondary wood industry seeing nearly 16,000 companies recruit for jobs over the prior 12 months. Jobs growth is strong, with power tool operation, carpentry, construction and hand tool skills expected to grow by over 20% in the next five years. 

Other key findings include:

• Wood industry jobs are available all over the country, with California having the most available postings.

• Job postings increased 63% from mid-2021 to mid-2022.

• Seven of the top 10 recruited wood related occupations became more challenging to hire in 2023 compared to the past four years. Hiring one worker in 2023 required 32% more job postings than in 2019.

The report, said Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Adria Salvatore, “brought to light several important findings including how it is more difficult than ever to find qualified wood industry talent to fill the many high-tech jobs available. However, there is a great deal of good news in the report including our parity with the metals industry in job availability and pay level and the key finding of ongoing job growth in the wood industry in the decades ahead.”