Industries at a Glance

Apparel Manufacturing: NAICS 315

On This Page

About the Apparel Manufacturing subsector

The apparel manufacturing subsector is part of the manufacturing sector.

Industries in the Apparel Manufacturing subsector group establishments with two distinct manufacturing processes: (1) cut and sew (i.e., purchasing fabric and cutting and sewing to make a garment), and (2) the manufacture of garments in establishments that first knit fabric and then cut and sew the fabric into a garment. The Apparel Manufacturing subsector includes a diverse range of establishments manufacturing full lines of ready-to-wear apparel and custom apparel: apparel contractors, performing cutting or sewing operations on materials owned by others; jobbers performing entrepreneurial functions involved in apparel manufacture; and tailors, manufacturing custom garments for individual clients are all included. Knitting, when done alone, is classified in the Textile Mills subsector, but when knitting is combined with the production of complete garments, the activity is classified in Apparel Manufacturing.

North American Industry Classification System

The apparel manufacturing subsector consists of these industry groups:

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment in apparel manufacturing. These data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment

Data series Back
data
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

Jump to page with historical data
136.1 134.1 (P) 134.4 (P) 133.6

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees (seasonally adjusted)

Jump to page with historical data
104.1 102.3 (P) 101.8 (P) 101.0

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2015

First-line supervisors/managers of production and operating workers

4,320

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

3,840

Sewing machine operators

54,910

Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders

4,260

Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders

2,830

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for apparel manufacturing.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings and Hours

This section presents data on employee earnings and weekly hours. The latest industry averages of hourly earnings and weekly hours are shown. In addition, recent hourly and annual earnings are shown for occupations commonly found in apparel manufacturing.

Earnings and Hours of All Employees

Data series Back
data
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016

Average hourly earnings

Jump to page with historical data
$17.63 $17.96 (P) $17.72 (P) $17.93

Average weekly hours

Jump to page with historical data
36.5 36.4 (P) 36.9 (P) 36.7

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

Data series Back
data
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016

Average hourly earnings

Jump to page with historical data
$13.87 $14.05 (P) $13.98 (P) $14.07

Average weekly hours

Jump to page with historical data
37.3 35.9 (P) 36.9 (P) 37.0

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2015
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

First-line supervisors/managers of production and operating workers

19.14 21.89 39,810 45,520

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

11.19 13.74 23,280 28,580

Sewing machine operators

9.61 11.09 19,980 23,060

Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders

11.52 12.30 23,950 25,580

Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders

10.91 11.39 22,700 23,680

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in apparel manufacturing. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2008 2009 2010 2011

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

4 6

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Data series 2014

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

1.5

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

0.8

Cases involving days away from work

0.4

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

0.5

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction. The import price index reflects the percentage change in prices paid to foreign producers for their goods and services within the U.S., while the export price index measures the percentage change in prices received by U.S. producers for goods and services sold outside the U.S.

Data series Back
data
Dec.
2015
Jan.
2016
Feb.
2016
Mar.
2016

Producer price index

Jump to page with historical data
(P) 111.8 (P) 111.8 (P) 112.4 (P) 112.4

Percent change from previous month

(P) 0.1% (P) 0.0% (P) 0.5% (P) 0.0%

Import index

Jump to page with historical data
(R) 111.4 111.6 111.6 111.4

Percent change from previous month

(R) -0.1% (R) 0.2% 0.0% -0.2%

Export index

Jump to page with historical data

Percent change from previous month

Footnotes
(R) Revised
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes, International Price Program)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in apparel manufacturing. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
4th quarter
2014
1st quarter
2015
2nd quarter
2015
3rd quarter
2015

Number of establishments

Private industry

Jump to page with historical data
6,995 (P) 6,921 (P) 7,009 (P) 7,035

Local government

Jump to page with historical data

State government

Jump to page with historical data
1 (P) 1 (P) 1 (P) 1

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2012 2013 2014 2015

Labor productivity index, output per hour

Jump to page with historical data
89.541 89.828 89.432 89.321

Percent change from previous year

Jump to page with historical data
5.4 0.3 -0.4 -0.1

Labor index, total labor hours

Jump to page with historical data
66.855 65.128 64.912 65.045

Percent change from previous year

Jump to page with historical data
-2.1 -2.6 -0.3 0.2

Output index

Jump to page with historical data
59.862 58.503 58.052 58.099

Percent change from previous year

Jump to page with historical data
3.2 -2.3 -0.8 0.1

Unit labor costs index

Jump to page with historical data
108.378 111.945 109.188 106.135

Percent change from previous year

Jump to page with historical data
-0.8 3.3 -2.5 -2.8

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

Other BLS Resources

Career Guide to Industries

See textile, textile product, and apparel manufacturing in the Career Guide to Industries.

Data extracted on: April 27, 2016

Recommend this page using: