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U.S. job loss breaks 1 million mark for textiles and apparel since NAFTA

Washington -- The loss of 4,700 jobs last month pushed the number of U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing jobs eliminated to 1,000,400 jobs since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in January 1994, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The sector continues to employ 548,400 people, according to the government agency.

The U.S. textile industry lost 362,200 jobs (52 percent employment loss) and the U.S. apparel industry 638,200 jobs (74 percent employment loss) over the period.

Textile and apparel jobs losses in key states since 1994 are as follows:

  • Alabama -- 60,800 losses -- (88,100 jobs in 1994, 27,300 jobs still remain)

  • California -- 38,900 losses -- (141,700 jobs in 1994, 103,300 jobs still remain)

  • Georgia -- 77,355 losses -- (152,353 jobs in 1994, 74,998 jobs still remain)

  • New York -- 80,550 losses -- (118,192 jobs in 1994, 37,642 jobs still remain)

  • North Carolina -- 193,000 losses -- (267,100 jobs in 1994, 74,100 jobs still remain)

  • South Carolina -- 90,211 losses -- (122,511 jobs in 1994, 32,200 jobs still remain)

  • Virginia -- 43,685 losses -- (57,557 jobs in 1994, 13,872 jobs still remain)

The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition , which lobbies for trade policy changes to stop the domestic jobs erosion, described the 1 million job benchmark as “an outrage.”

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