WASHINGTON – The U.S. fashion industry has evolved from one based on manufacturing to one based on ideas.
As the 2016 Fall/Winter Fashion Week winds down in New York City, a new report released Thursday by Joint Economic Committee Ranking Member Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), found that the multi-trillion dollar industry employs 1.8 million people nationwide in jobs that include designers, market research analysts and computer systems developers. These high-value, high-paying jobs spark innovation, raise productivity and benefit other industries in the same geographic area, according to the report The New Economy of Fashion.
“The fashion industry across the U.S. - from New York City and Los Angeles to Columbus, Ohio, and Providence, Rhode Island - is thriving,” Maloney said. “And the jobs being created demand a higher level of education and pay better than once was the case in this industry. The U.S. fashion industry has evolved from one based on manufacturing to one based on ideas and design.”
At the turn of the century, the U.S. fashion industry was based on manufacturing. In 1931, the Garment District in New York City was home to the highest concentration of clothing manufacturers in the world, and as late as 1990, the industry employed nearly a million people in manufacturing, nationwide.
New York City remains the center of the U.S. fashion industry where 183,000 people are employed, about 6 percent of the city’s workforce. Approximately 7,000 fashion designers work in New York, about 40 percent of all those working in the United States. While most jobs in the industry are in retail, today 135,000 fashion jobs nationwide are also in apparel manufacturing. Wholesale merchandizing accounts for 145,000 employees. Designers account for 18,000 workers and the number of models in the industry is over 5,000.
“The United States has become a world leader in the high-value added parts of the fashion industry,” Maloney said. “Ours is an industry based on ideas, creativity and vision and it’s having a very positive impact on our country’s economy.”
Read the report here.