Though the timber industry has faced recent challenges, Allyn Ford of Roseburg Forest Products has a positive outlook for the future of forestry. Ford discussed the state of the wood products industry at a Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce meeting Monday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
“Our industry is very complicated, in some ways very political, but also in some ways subject to different variables like Mother Nature,” Ford said. “There are some good things happening, it’s not all doom and gloom.”
The U.S.’s recovery after the recession has been a long process, Ford said, and now the country is back to low unemployment rates. However, according to Ford, the recession has left workers across various industries with less confidence and more caution.
Baby boomers who had been planning to retire now see more working years ahead, while millennials are delaying key decisions like forming families and buying homes, which in turn has dramatically reduced the demand for housing in the last five years, he said.
After a peak of housing starts in 2005, the crash and subsequent recession left people more cautious to invest in housing, but the demand for apartment space has increased.