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Housing hits wood jobs

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

PRINEVILLE Effects of a slumping housing market and cost of lumber have started showing in the state’s wood-product industry, with dozens of job cuts in central and southern Oregon announced in January. Clackamas-based Contact Industries cut 55 jobs — almost 10% of its workforce — at its Prineville manufacturing plant because of expectations of a long downturn in residential construction. In all, the housing market slowdown has affected 18 sawmills in the Pacific Northwest, closing them indefinitely or cutting production hours, including the Seneca Jones Timber Co. mill in Eugene, Hampton Lumber in Morton, and Willamina and Rosboro in Vaughn. Boise Cascade has permanently closed its sawmill and planer operation in White City and cut 32 of the lumber plant’s 59 employees, attributing the layoffs to shrinking pine supplies.

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