A breakdown of forestry in Australian states shows how things have changed in the past few years with employment figures ranging from more than 21,000 in New South Wales to around only 1000 in the ACT. Tasmania has seen the largest drop in employment in forestry. Source: Australia’s forests at a glance 2012
In New South Wales the ABS labour force data for 2010–11 showed a total employment of about 21,250 people in the forestry and wood products manufacturing sectors in New South Wales.
For Victoria that data for 2010–11 showed a total employment of 19,250 people in the forestry and wood products manufacturing industries with 13 local areas directly employing more than 3% of their labour force.
Queensland’s ABS labour force data for 2010–11 showed employment of 9750 people in the sectors with 14 local government areas directly employ more than 3% of their labour force in these industries.
South Australia’s data for 2010–11 showed employment of 3750 people in the industry while in Western Australia 4750 people were employed in the industry.
For Tasmania employment in the forestry and wood products industries had grown by 7% between 2006 and 2008, from 6510 to 6960 people (Schirmer 2008).
But between 2008 and 2010 a significant downturn in the industry caused employment to fall by 33.3%. By September 2010, the number of people working in the forestry and wood products industry had fallen to 4650 (Schirmer 2010).
The 2010–11 ABS labour force data shows employment of about 3300 people in the forestry and wood products manufacturing sectors in Tasmania.
The Northern Territory forest industry is largely based on hardwood plantations, and the Indigenous arts and crafts industry, which uses material from forests and employs less than 1000 people.
The ACT’s forest industries have contracted substantially since 2003 when bushfires destroyed two-thirds (10 500 hectares) of its softwood plantations and it now employs less than 1000 people.