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Apparel Industry Workers


The apparel industry is highly competitive, and low profits and wages are characteristic. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the median hourly earnings of textile, apparel, and furnishings workers employed in the United States in May 2018 were $14.94 ($27,750 annually). Sewing machine operators earned a median hourly wage of $12.98, or $25,030 a year. Textile cutting machine operators had median wages of $14.16 an hour ($28,220 annually), and custom tailors made $16.50 an hour ($31,000 annually). Pressers in the textile, apparel, and related materials business earned median wages of $11.57 ($23,350 annually). General salaries for workers in this field range from less than $18,000 to more than $53,990 annually. Many workers in the industry are paid according to the number of acceptable pieces they turn out; therefore, their total earnings also depend on their skill, accuracy, and speed.

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