Survey Snippet 12: The draw to logging

Maria Church
November 08, 2018
By
Nov. 8, 2018 – This year personal finance comparison website Finder Canada ranked logging and forestry as the most dangerous industry in the country with a dismal record of 2.8 per cent of those employed in the industry injured or killed in 2016. That fact, along with average weekly salaries of $1,109, led the website to rank the industry lowest in terms of risk of reward. These numbers prove what’s been known in the industry for many years. It’s a difficult place to work, and more difficult still to make a decent living.

Yet something is keeping contractors around, and we wanted to find out what that is. In our 2018 Contractor Survey we asked what aspects of the job loggers enjoy. The results vary by location, but overall the largest portion of respondents (57%) say it’s the ability to work in the woods.

In every region save for the B.C. Coast and Alberta, working in the woods was chosen as the No. 1 perk of being a logger. The second highest aspect is the variety and challenge at 40 per cent, followed closely by independence at 39 per cent.

It is not surprising that financial compensation is the least likely aspect that loggers enjoy (10%), with zero respondents in Ontario and Quebec choosing that answer.


Survey_snippet_12_graph_1.jpg
Percentage of respondents who say they enjoy these perks of the job, by region.

Given the financial challenges identified in the survey, it’s not surprising that 74 per cent of loggers see financial compensation as the most important part of the industry to improve in order to attract replacement contractors.

Co-operation with the wood buyers (40 per cent) and simplification of regulations and procedures (33 per cent) were also ranked high in order to attract new blood.

When comparing these results to our 2016 survey, employment stability is less of a concern today than it was two years ago. In 2016, 53 per cent of loggers saw stability as an area that needed improvement, while just 31 per cent chose this answer in 2018.

survey_snippet_12_graph_2.jpg
Percentage of contractors who identify these parts of the business that need improvement in order to attract replacement contractors.

Missed last week's survey snippet? Find a collection of reports published to date here. Look for more news from the CFI 2018 Contractor Survey in our enews over the coming weeks, with a final digital report in December and a summary in the November/December print issue. Be sure to subscribe to our free enews to get all the latest industry news.

The survey was conducted in June 2018 by independent research firm Bramm & Associates, generating over 275 replies to a detailed list of questions. Respondents were distributed according to the geographic breakdown of the forest industry, with 40 per cent in Western Canada, 25 per cent in Quebec, and the rest found in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and central Canada. Within B.C. responses were split between the BC coast and Interior. Many thanks to our sponsors for making the research possible – Hultdins and Tigercat.

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