Economic Impact Study Shows Wood Packaging Industry Supports 173,000 Jobs in USA

22 January 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent study from The National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) found that the wooden pallet and container manufacturing industry has a direct or indirect impact on more than 173,000 jobs and generates a total economic impact of US$31 billion in economic activity.  The study titled "Economic Analysis of the U.S. Wooden Pallet and Container Industry" illustrates the far reaching positive effects of the industry.

"The wood packaging industry is more than just wood and nails. We are tightly interwoven in urban and rural communities, working with other industries to supply materials, parts, as well as financial, IP and logistics, both nationally and globally," said Larry Howell, NWPCA Chair and President of Cottondale Wood Products based in Alabama. "Our products truly move the world by bringing goods to all homes and businesses."

Key Findings

  • Direct or indirect impact on more than 173,000 jobs and generates an economic impact of US$31 billion. Total impacts of $35.1 billion to the U.S. economy and employment of 197,300 jobs
  • Labor compensation reached $3 billion; robust growth has outpaced job gains, indicating higher average wages
  • Direct output exceeded $10.7 billion, the highest level of output since 2007
  • Production levels increased 4% per year from 2009-2016, outpacing the overall economy.

According to NWPCA President/CEO Brent McClendon, "The research was undertaken to highlight the impressive impact that our industry has in this very complex value chain. We now have the critical data that shows the continued expansion of the industry and has the potential to inform policies that create jobs and support local communities.  We're proud of the role wood packaging plays for economic growth."

The research was funded by The Pallet Foundation and conducted with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The full report is available here.


Annette Ferri 

Vice President of Communications 

Phone: 703.519.6104 ext. 207 



The Center for Manufacturing Research is part of The Manufacturing Institute, driving an agenda to research and support manufacturing excellence, innovation and talent, and deliver solutions to make manufacturers in America globally competitive. In this role, the Center continues to document the importance of manufacturing in the economy. Learn more about the Center for Manufacturing Research.


The National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) is the largest organization of wood packaging professionals in the world, with more than 670 company members in 28 countries who manufacture, repair and distribute pallets and wood packaging in unit-load solutions, or who supply products and services to the industry. Learn more about NWPCA


Formed in 1996, The Pallet Foundation, a 501(c) 3 charitable foundation, supports research, education/training and safety in the wood packaging industry while promoting the industry to end-user markets. Learn more about The Pallet Foundation.


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SOURCE National Wooden Pallet & Container Association