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'Insourcing' apparel jobs to Los Angeles
Jul '11
A small but growing trend of 'insourcing' apparel sector jobs to Los Angeles, California, has started with firms shifting their production bases from China and other countries on cost concerns.

Apparel manufacturers are analyzing the actual costs and complex issues that arise in carrying on production at units based in countries with cheap labour availability.

China seems to have been affected the most as rise in salaries seem to be a permanent feature there. Manufacturers find that the cost of producing goods in US is not much different from getting the job done in other countries, especially in the category of high-end fashions that need good quality fabric.

The decline in production quality, increasing fabric prices, and unreliability of shipping times are among the factors that are influencing the decision of companies to relocate production units back in the US.

However, as countries like Vietnam still have low cost labour, manufacturers have an option to shift the units manufacturing general goods like T-shirts and tennis shoes there.

Among the US cities, Los Angeles has the highest number of employees in design industry and is ahead in increasing jobs in apparel manufacturing sector. The number of people employed by the Los Angeles' apparel manufacturing industry increased to 52,100 in May 2011, showing a year-on-year rise of 6.5 percent.

Even the number of licenses issued for garment contractors by the State of California has increased during the last year.

Editor's note-Companies normally take cost-benefit factor into account before arriving at any decision on relocating their manufacturing units. However, the fact that livelihood of several families is dependent on their units also needs to be taken into account.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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