Study finds agriculture, forestry, fisheries major drivers of NW economy

BBJ Staff
More than 12 cents of every $1 generated and one job in 10 are attributed to the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries in the Northwest, according to a new study.

The study was commissioned by Northwest Farm Credit Services and conducted by Oregon State University Extension Service Rural Studies Program and the University of Idaho Extension Service.

It looked at the five-state region of Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon and Washington.
The study shows the continued importance of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to the Northwest’s economy, said Phil DiPofi, Northwest Farm Credit Services president and CEO, in a statement.

“We knew intuitively how vital these industries are to the Northwest and wanted to quantify their contributions to the regional economy,” DiPofi said. “This study affirms the significant impact producers have on the financial strength of our region.”

The study concludes that the total economic impact of the segments equals more than 885,900 jobs and nearly $176.1 billion in sales for the five states.

Of this impact, 68.2 percent comes from agriculture, representing 7.5 percent of all jobs in the region and 8.3 percent of total sales.

Forestry follows at 23.8 percent of the impact, with 2.3 percent of all jobs and 2.9 percent of total sales in the region; and fisheries at 7.9 percent of the impact represents 0.9 percent of sales and 1 percent of jobs in the region.

Of the states, Washington had the most jobs dependent on those segments. The study found that 303,321 full- and part-time jobs in the state depended on the ag, foresty and fisheries in 2015. Industry sales totaled $58.8 billion last year.

Northwest Farm Credit Services is a financial institution serving these industries for the past century. The Spokane-based company has 45 branches throughout the state including ones in Seattle and Sedro-Wooley.

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