Condition of the Lumber Industry

March 12, 1931

Report Outline
The Economic Position of Lumber
Factors Affecting Condition of Lumber Industry
The Social Control of American Lumber
Special Focus

Among the industries of the United States which showed signs of distress in advance of the current business depression, and which have been further depressed by existing trade conditions, those concerned with the exploiting of natural resources-coal, oil, minerals, and lumber-stand out prominently. Of these, the lumber industry is receiving increased public attention not only because of its importance and its economic difficulties, but also on account of its active efforts to persuade Congress to lay an embargo on “convict-made” imports of lumber from Russia, attempts to relax the application of the antitrust laws in its behalf, and the recent appointment by President Hoover of a National Timber Conservation Board.

The United States is the largest lumber-producing country in the world and it is estimated that it produces and uses one-half the world's supply of sawn lumber. According to the census of manufactures, lumber and its remanufactures ranked third in 1927 in the number of wage earners employed, fourth in the amount of wages paid, and sixth in the value of its products-which during recent years has averaged about $3,500,000,000 annually.

Decline of the Lumber Industry

Despite its eminent position among the nation's industries, the lumber industry has gradually declined since 1923 in value of products, wages paid, and number of wage earners employed. Production and consumption of lumber have been dropping since 1925, and prices in 1930 averaged lower than at any time since the close of the war.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Forests and Rangelands
Manufacturing and Industrial Production