Made in America Again AWARE
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Apparel Manufacturing

We first consider job losses in apparel manufacturing (NAICS 315).  Here we find establishments producing a vast array of clothing and accessories for men, women, boys, girls, and infants, including tailored and non-tailored suits, coats, jackets and vests, shirts, blouses, slacks, dresses and skirts, hosiery and socks, sweaters, shirts and blouses, dresses, outerwear, athletic wear, swimwear, underwear, nightwear and robes, hats and caps, mittens and gloves, neckwear, belts and other accessories. 


American apparel factories, which employed 938,600 workers at the beginning of 1990, employed an average 140,292 in 2014.  The following figure illustrates those job losses: 


Beginning with the recession of 1990-1991, with only a brief pause from 1991-1992, the U.S. apparel manufacturing industry experienced rapid and sustained job losses.  The rate of loss was especially high from 1998 through 2003, when the industry shed jobs at an average rate of 13 percent per year.  After a further sharp decline during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the industry has continued a shallow rate of decline in employment through the economic “recovery.” 


Key Finding:


Between 1990 and 2014, we shipped our apparel industry[i] offshore; 85 percent of the jobs, just shy of 800,000 jobs in all. 



GO TO Textiles.


[i] Industries in the Apparel Manufacturing subsector group establishments with two distinct manufacturing processes: (1) cut and sew (i.e., purchasing fabric and cutting and sewing to make a garment), and (2) the manufacture of garments in establishments that first knit fabric and then cut and sew the fabric into a garment. The Apparel Manufacturing subsector includes a diverse range of establishments manufacturing full lines of ready-to-wear apparel and custom apparel: apparel contractors, performing cutting or sewing operations on materials owned by others; jobbers performing entrepreneurial functions involved in apparel manufacture; and tailors, manufacturing custom garments for individual clients are all included. Knitting, when done alone, is classified in the Textile Mills subsector, but when knitting is combined with the production of complete garments, the activity is classified in Apparel Manufacturing.  The apparel manufacturing subsector consists of these industry groups: Apparel Knitting Mills (NAICS 3151); Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing (NAICS 3152); and Apparel Accessories and Other Apparel Manufacturing: NAICS 3159.  [North American Classification System, published at]

News and Events

May 15, 2014, Ontario, CA - MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, delivered the keynote address at the 20th annual World Trade Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the California Inland Empire District Export Council in Ontario, California.  To view the conference agenda, click here:

New file download

May 7, 2015, Radnor, PA.  MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, appeared as the guest of host Richard J. Anthony, Sr. on The Entrepreneur's Network TV at Radnor Studio 21.  The program featured a discussion of the problems caused by offshoring manufacturing and white collar jobs and how consmers can solve the problem with their spending decisions. 

Studio 21 has made the program available for viewing here:

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