An announcement that cuts deeply

As New Brunswick’s forestry industry struggles, I just read that Washington state’s is booming. In addition to several expansions, here is the text of a recent article:

A California company has announced a proposal to build a $100 million high-tech lumber mill west of Burlington that could bring 200 new jobs to Skagit County, Washington. The company employs about 4,000 workers, and the average wage for its mill workers is about $18 an hour ($22/hour CDN).

The proposed mill would include a co-generation plant, which would use wood waste as fuel for drying lumber and creating electricity.

That hurts. Not only a high wage sawmill but a co-generation plant onsite.

Washington freakin’ state. That’s just about as far from civilization as you can get. Yet, miraculously, from 1990 to 2004, the state’s population has grown by 25% – 25%! 1.4 million people. During the same period, New Brunswick’s population declined 2%.

Oh, but you’re so smart. All that growth in Washington must be in Seattle. Urbanization and all that.

Wrong again.

Almost all the small counties in Washington State grew their populations strongly from 2000 to 2004. In just four years, growth rates of between 4% and 21%. Think about this. While NB’s population has declined.

Population Growth rates (2000-2004)
San Juan County +8% – population 15,000
Pend Oreille County +6% – population 12,000
Skamania County +7% – population 10,500

Isn’t that nice. The U.S.’s version of New Brunswick is booming.