North Carolina green industry study findings announced: $8.6 billion impact
North Carolina's green industry contributes $8.6 billion to the state's economy, according to results of a study announced recently by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
The green industry comprises growers of greenhouse/nursery stock, Christmas trees and flowers, sod producers, and related businesses such as landscape and irrigation contractors, lawn care professionals, arborists and retail lawn and garden centers.
"We always knew the green industry was big business in North Carolina, but we didn't know how big," Troxler said. "This comprehensive study shows that the green industry is a diversified and significant economic factor in our state."
Louise Hodges, president of the N.C. Green Industry Council, said: "These numbers clearly illustrate the significant contributions the green industry provides our state. Armed with this information, our industry will further its commitment to the state of North Carolina through opportunities for additional jobs, additional revenue and continued environmental benefits."
Staff of the Agricultural Statistics Division at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services collected data for the study. Economists Charles Safley and Michael Walden at N.C. State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences analyzed the data. The study was funded by a $150,000 appropriation from the General Assembly in 2005.
Following are highlights of the study, which examined data for 2005:
The green industry employs nearly 152,000 people across the state.
N.C. homeowners spent an average of $838 on lawn and landscape services during the year.
Arborists, landscapers and lawn care professionals had total gross sales of $1.2 billion.
Total gross sales by N.C. florists exceeded $256 million.
Landscape architects and designers had total gross sales of $574 million.
North Carolina had 120,741 acres in production of green-industry commodities, including 60,657 acres of Christmas trees, 27,150 acres of field-grown nursery stock and 20,838 acres of sod.