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Americans Spent Almost $380B on Fashion Last Year

The fashion industry is a catalyst for economic prosperity in the U.S.

According to a recent report titled The Economic Impact of the Fashion Industry, Americans spent almost $380 billion on fashion last year and the industry created jobs for more than 1.8 million Americans in 2015.

“Fashion-related jobs are a vital part of the economy across the U.S., and especially in New York City, which I am proud to represent in Congress,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) said. “As this new report makes clear, everyone in the industry, from the designer who creates a red-carpet gown to the retail worker who folds and sells the season’s latest looks, plays a critical role in this major economic driver.”

Los Angeles and New York, two major cities of design and innovation, are the foundations of the U.S. fashion industry. New York is considered the fashion capital of the world by many and the urban hub is home to its own $98 billion fashion industry, which employs over 5 percent of New York’s private-sector workforce. Los Angeles is also an important fashion center in the U.S. The metropolis benefits from its local apparel, accessories and footwear companies that bring in almost $18 billion in revenues each year.

Although U.S. fashion designers on average earn more than $73,000 yearly, in addition to Los Angeles and New York fostering the U.S. fashion industry, there is more to this financial factor. As high-value jobs in the fashion industry span across the nation, the industry’s traditional footprint is changed up, with more style roots appearing in the Southern and Western regions of the U.S.

Despite this positive growth, the U.S. fashion industry has also dramatically altered, with less apparel manufacturing employment and a broader focus on global supply chain operations. Even though many clothing companies engage in overseas production, the demand for high-fashion keeps the Made in USA initiative thriving.

The fashion industry benefits the U.S. economy by offering unique job opportunities. The number of U.S. fashion designers has increased 50 percent to over 19,000 individuals. For the apparel manufacturing sector, almost 138,000 people are employed in the U.S. Some apparel manufacturing jobs remain traditional, such as sewing machine operators, but with new technology developments, new positions have been created including market research analysts that earn an average of $69,430 each year. From business operations specialists to fabric patternmakers, U.S. fashion industry workers have the ability to continue fostering the nation’s economic growth.

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