Logging Worker Wage, Performance, and Experience

Y. Xu, M. Smidt, and Y. Zhang, “Logging Worker Wage, Performance, and Experience,” Forest Products Journal, vol. 64, no. 5–6, pp. 210–216, Jul. 2014.


Type Journal Article
Author Yecheng Xu
Author Mathew Smidt
Author Yaoqi Zhang
URL http://dx.doi.org/10.13073/FPJ-D-14-00035
Volume 64
Issue 5-6
Pages 210-216
Publication Forest Products Journal
ISSN 0015-7473
Date July 2, 2014
Journal Abbr Forest Products Journal
DOI 10.13073/FPJ-D-14-00035
Accessed 9/27/2015, 8:00:00 PM
Abstract Many believe the logging industry faces significant challenges in recruiting and maintaining a qualified workforce. The relationship between wage and productivity is a critical component of attracting quality workers while controlling labor cost. We attempted to examine the relationship between worker performance and wage with results from a mixed (mail, Internet, and interview) national survey targeting logging firm owners, corporate officers, and supervisors. Respondents (162 total) varied regionally (North, South, and West) with respect to harvest systems and firm size. Wage expectations were considerably higher with aerial harvest systems, which were confounded with the respondents from the West, larger firm size, and greater respondent experience. Wages for workers with higher skill levels were more related to firm and respondent attributes than were lower skill levels, and most of the relationships were logical. Respondents indicated that equipment operators perform adequately after 12 months on the job and supervisors after 24 months. For chainsaw operators, results appeared to vary by region from 6 to 36 months of experience. Changes in wage due to increased skill level were similar across regions when expressed as a percentage of the lower skill level. Once the worker was able to perform at an adequate level, it appears that wage changes due to performance were roughly equivalent to the expected increase in productivity.


  • Logging
  • Workforce

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