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Washington Outlook Archive
James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondnet

Textile And Apparel Jobs Continue To Erode

By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Employment data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that textile and apparel job losses during the first two months of this year are continuing at a rate higher than last year at this time. In 2004, the textile industry lost 4.3 percent of its jobs, which was down significantly from the 13 percent in 2003; but the current trend indicates the 2005 job losses are running ahead of last year. Textile representatives in Washington attributed the increasing job losses to the removal of import quotas at the beginning of this year.

"The severe job loss report suggests that the US textile and apparel industry employment is experiencing a downturn associated with removal of quotas, and unless strong emergency safeguard measures are taken soon, the loss of textile and apparel industry production and jobs will accelerate in the coming months," said Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.

The BLS data show that the textile industry lost 4,900 jobs in January and February; apparel job losses were 4,800. 

March 2005