JOBS DROP IN GARMENT DISTRICT

NEW YORK — Fashion-related jobs based within the city’s traditional garment district dropped dramatically — by about 22 percent — in 2000, according to an economic profile being developed by the Fashion Center Business Improvement District.
Jobs in manufacturing and wholesale within the confines of the district, located between 34th and 41st Streets and Fifth and Ninth Avenues, dropped to an estimated 28,776 from 37,118 in 1999, according to a draft of the report, which is expected to be finalized this month. The fashion industry now accounts for the lowest rate ever of FCBID’s total employment — 36 percent compared to 44 percent a year ago.
A separate report profiling the decline of apparel jobs within the city is expected to be released today at a press conference being organized by the Council of American Fashion, UNITE, and the New York Industrial Retention Network.
Two years ago the district’s fashion employment dipped below 50 percent for the first time since it was created in the early Thirties.
As the apparel industry has struggled in recent years to adapt to retail and wholesale consolidation, as well as dramatic shifts in manufacturing jobs to other countries, the makeup of the district has changed to include advertising and marketing agencies as well as Internet companies.
Wholesale employment in the neighborhood dropped in 2000 to 21,096 jobs from 22,808, and manufacturing toppled to 15,006 from 17,081, according to the FCBID report.
New York City’s fashion industry currently has 113,838 jobs in textiles, apparel manufacturing and wholesaling — a 6 percent decline compared to 1999. The apparel and textiles portion of that figure slipped by 6,600 jobs to 67,734.

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