Economic Contributions


In 2020, the Forest Products Industry (FPI) in the HAZ region made direct economic contributions of $978 million in sales, 4,674 jobs, $451 million in value-added, and $286 million in employee compensation. As of 2021, there were nearly 400 active forest products and support companies in the HAZ region, ranging from primary sawmills to cabinet makers to flooring companies.

Based on the industry’s multiplier, or “ripple” effects, the industry produced total contributions of $1.2 billion in sales, nearly 6,420 jobs, $577 million in value-added, and $363 million in employee compensation. Additionally, for every 1 job directly within the FPI in the HAZ region, the industry supported an additional 0.37 job through its involvement with the broader regional economy, creating a “ripple” effect in employment of 1.37 additional jobs in 2020.

The Primary Solid Wood Products (PSWP) sector was the region’s largest source of FPI direct output, accounting for 35 percent of the industry’s direct output. The Secondary Solid Wood Products (SSWP) sector was the largest source of industry direct employment and employee compensation, while the Logging (L) sector contributed the most direct value added for the year.

Of the 164 mills currently manufacturing lumber and other wood products across the state, almost 60% are currently located in the 12-county HAZ region. Of the 31 sawmills currently operating in West Virginia, 19 are located in the HAZ region. You can count on these sawmills for a consistent supply of high-quality lumber year after year.

West Virginia is an attractive alternative for your business investment. Our cost of living is 22.6% lower than the national average and electric rates are also below the national average. There is no business franchise tax and we are a Right-to-Work state.

More economic accomplishments include:

  • Top 10 Gross Domestic Product by State in the U.S. 2021 Q2 – 7.3%
  • Top 10 State for Best Business Climate – Business Facilities Magazine, 2021
  • 6th Best State for the Cost of Doing Business – CNBC State Business Report, 2019
  • 1st for Lowest Turnover Rate in Manufacturing – BLS Industry Report, 2020
  • 4th Lowest State in U.S. for Workers Compensation – Oregon Consumer & Business Services, 2020
  • 22nd Lowest Business Taxes – Tax Foundation, 2021