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Apparel Industry Workers

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There are approximately 15,650 textile, apparel, and furnishings workers; 139,500 sewing machine operators; 21,660 tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers; and 45,150 pressers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Apparel industry workers are employed in many settings, from multinational corporations such as Levi Strauss to small companies with few employees. Production jobs are concentrated in California, Georgia, and North Carolina, though small clothing manufacturers are located in many parts of the country. About one-half of all pressers are employed in laundry and dry-cleaning businesses, which exist throughout the United States. This work does not require much prior training or experience. Few workers in this industry are self-employed, primarily tailors, dressmakers, sewers, and upholsterers. Custom tailors often work in retail clothing stores. Retailers prefer to hire custom tailors and sewers with previous experience in the apparel field. Hand sewers may find work adding trimming to a wide variety of apparel, from clothing to accessories.

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