Green industry boosts California economy

The California green industry grossed $25 billion in 2007, according to report.

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December 2, 2011

The green industry in California has accomplished much more than beautification. According to a recently released report by the California Landscape Contractors Association, the industry grossed $25 billion and created nearly 258,000 jobs in 2007, the last year for which data was available .

The report, entitled “Economic Contributions of the Green Industry to the California Economy, 2007,” summarizes a 2011 study conducted by three economists: Dr. Marco A. Palma of Texas A&M University, Dr. Alan W. Hodges of the University of Florida, and Dr. Charles R. Hall of Texas A&M University.

The report identifies the “green industry” as any business involved in the production, distribution, and services associated with ornamental plants, landscape and garden supplies and equipment. Segments of this industry –  also known as the environmental horticulture industry – include landscape architects, contractors and maintenance firms, wholesale nursery, greenhouse, and sod growers, marketing intermediaries such as brokers, horticultural distribution centers, and re-wholesalers, retail garden centers, home centers, and mass merchandisers with lawn and garden departments and other retail establishments selling plants and horticultural goods.

The 157,395 green industry establishments in the state had $17.2 billion in direct output (sales) and $25 billion in total output. They employed 169,942 individuals and had a total employment impact of 257,650 jobs, the report states.

The green industry is substantially bigger in California than it is in any other state. Compared to the green industry in the country as a whole, the California industry was 14.2 percent of the output, 13.2 percent of its employment contribution, and 14.7 percent of its value added impact in 2007. The green industry was .83 percent of California’s total overall economic activity that same year.

The report also concluded that the California green industry experienced moderate growth before the year of study. From 2002-2007, total output increased 22.8 percent from $20.36 billion in 2002 to $25 billion in 2007. Total employment impacts remained relatively flat, with a slight increase of 1.4 percent from 253,977 jobs in 2002 to 257,650 jobs in 2007. Total value added impacts increased 15.8 percent from $13.66 billion in 2002 to $15.82 billion in 2007.

Click on the following link to access the 20-page report: Economic Contributions of the Green Industry to the California Economy, 2007