WASHINGTON--Employment in U.S. apparel manufacturing in May continued its steady decline, dropping a seasonally adjusted 7,000 jobs against April, while the textile industry, ending more than a year of job stability, shed 5,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Since May 1994, the apparel industry payroll has shrunk by 41,000 workers to 932,000 last month, while textile employment dropped 9,000 jobs to 664,000.
Meanwhile, within retailing, apparel and accessories stores in May cut 10,000 workers against April, employing 1,094,000, or 39,000 fewer than in May 1994. Employment within department stores increased 3,000 workers for the month, registering 2,221,000 workers, a gain of 23,000 from May 1994.
The apparel and textile industry employment mirrors a continued slowdown of the manufacturing sector as a whole. Factory employment overall in May declined 56,000, the largest monthly drop in four years. It follows a 25,000 decline in April. Nevertheless, the overall unemployment rate declined slightly to 5.7 percent in May against 5.8 percent in April.

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