01-11-22 | News

Sawmill Output Lags

Housing Inventory Down, New Construction Up

Domestic sawmill output has been unable to keep up with demand despite a 2.4 percent increase in employment within the industry.

While low housing inventory continues to plague the in-demand housing market, new construction has been unable to add ample supply because the domestic sawmill industry has been unable to keep up with home construction pace.

The sawmill industry has struggled with labor challenges and has been an overall limiting factor for the overall economy in both the manufacturing and construction sectors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data shows that sawmill industry employment is higher than a year ago. As of October 2021, sawmill employment was 90,100, which is a 2.4 percent increase or a net gain of 2,100 from October of 2020. Meanwhile, residential construction employment was up 4 percent or 118,500 net jobs over the same period.

The sawmill industry gained workers and did see an increase over the 12 months ending September 2021. Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the seasonally adjusted rate of sawmill output in September 2021 was 1.2 percent higher than in September 2020. However, output in the third quarter of 2021 was 1.3 percent lower than it was in during the same quarter in 2020.

The 2020 increase in output was insufficient to keep up with the demand from residential construction and continued in 2021.


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