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Forestry and the Wisconsin Economy

The forest products industry in Wisconsin provides more than 63,000 full and part-time jobs and has a total industry output of $24.4 billion and value-added of $6.7 billion. It ranks 11th in terms of number of full-and part-time jobs, 9th in value-added, and 3rd in industry output in the state. Every ten jobs in the forest products industry support additional fifteen jobs in other sectors in the state.

  • The forest products industry:
    • is the number one employer in seven counties: Florence, Iron, Lincoln, Price, Rusk, Taylor, and Trempealeau;
    • is one of the top ten employers in 29 counties: Adams, Ashland, Brown, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Florence, Forest, Iron, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vilas, Washburn, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood;
    • is the number one industry for value-added in seven counties: Florence, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Trempealeau, Winnebago, and Wood;
    • is one of the top ten industries for value-added in 30 counties: Adams, Ashland, Barron, Brown, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vilas, Washburn, Washington, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood;
    • is the number one industry for industry output in 16 counties: Adams, Ashland, Brown, Florence, Iron, Marathon, Marinette, Oneida, Outagamie, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Trempealeau, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood;
    • is one of the top ten industries for industry output in 37 counties: Adams, Ashland, Brown, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dodge, Dunn, Florence, Forest, Iron, Jefferson, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Monroe, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Sheboygan, Sr. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vilas, Washburn, Washington, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood.
  • Brown County has the largest number of forest products industry jobs, industry output, and value-added in the state.
  • Trempealeau County has the largest number of sawmills and wood products jobs, industry output, and value-added in the state.
  • Brown County has the largest number of pulp and paper products jobs and industry output in the state whereas Winnebago county has the highest value-added.

Economic fact sheets

View a particular county fact sheet in PDF format:


The DNR Division of Forestry has used 2017 data to model the economic impacts of the forest industry in Wisconsin [PDF] as a whole and for each individual county using the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN). This software was originally developed by the U.S. Forest Service in cooperation with the University of Minnesota and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The model is designed to estimate economic effects of an industry on the local or regional economy. For more details about the database and how we’ve used IMPLAN, contact the division’s forest economist.

Notes about the data you’ll see on these fact sheets.

  • Value added is a measure of the industry’s contribution to the local community. It includes wages, rents, interest and profits.
  • Direct impacts are jobs, revenue and taxes for normal business operations. Indirect includes indirect and induced impacts. It refers to the dollars industry and households spend at other area businesses and the local jobs supported by the forest industry.

Reports