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Employment: Textile, Apparel & Furnishing Occupations




Textile, apparel, and furnishings workers held 929,000 jobs in 2004. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up this group was distributed as follows:

Sewing machine operators 256,000
Laundry and dry-cleaning workers 235,000
Tailors, dressmakers, and sewers 85,000
Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials 82,000
Upholsterers 53,000
Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders 53,000
Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders 46,000
Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders 28,000
All other textile, apparel, and furnishings workers 23,000
Extruding and forming machine setters, operators, and tenders, synthetic and glass fibers 23,000
Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders 21,000
Shoe and leather workers and repairers 10,000
Fabric and apparel patternmakers 9,200
Shoe machine operators and tenders 4,600

Manufacturing jobs are concentrated in California, North Carolina, Georgia, New York, Texas, and South Carolina. Jobs in reupholstery, shoe repair and custom leatherwork, and laundry and drycleaning establishments are found in cities and towns throughout the Nation. Overall, about 11 percent of all workers in textile, apparel, and furnishings occupations were self-employed; however, 54 percent of tailors, dressmakers, and sewers and 27 percent of upholsterers were self-employed.