Forest Products & Rural Economic Development

Photo of Hampton Lumber Mill in Darrington, WA

Lumber mill in Darrington, WA

Gov. Inslee is committed to creating good-paying jobs in every corner of Washington. Our small and rural communities contribute to the fabric of our innovative, hard-working state. Despite the unique challenges these communities face, they have a proven ability to innovate, modernize and diversify. 

The governor works to build and develop rural communities through economic development, strengthened infrastructure, accessible health and human services and energy-savings programs.  

Industries like the forest product sector play a large role in many of Washington’s rural economies. Forest products are the 3rd largest manufacturing sector in the state.  There are over 1,700 forest products related businesses with 104,000 workers.  

Wood building materials produce less air and water pollution, require less energy, and generate less carbon emissions than other common building materials, making this industry a key player in our state’s efforts to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

Industry Snapshot

  • There are over 1,900 forest products related businesses in Washington State
  • 41,912 direct jobs, and another 63,936 indirect and induced jobs in 2014
  • Gross business income approximately $28.6 billion per year
  • $2.4 billion in annual wages for direct employees, $2.9 billion indirect/induced
  • 3rd largest manufacturing sector in Washington State
  • More than 10% of forestry-related jobs are “green” compared to state average of 3%

From forest products to fisheries, from the shores of Puget Sound to the expanse of Okanogan, Gov. Inslee is working to build and strengthen rural economies.   


Brian Hatfield
Gov. Inslee’s Forest Products & Rural Economic Development Sector Lead