As simple as your question seems, it takes a bit of doing to really
massage the available statistics into shape. So...sit back, get a
drink, take a look at the numbers below, and rest assured that if
there's anything else you need, I remain at your service.
The US Census Bureau conducts two types of surveys of the business
community that provide the type of information you're seeking.
The first is an annual survey of manufacturers in the country. The
report series that presents the data broken out by industry sector and
by state is called the Annual Survey of Manufacturers -- Geographic
The Annual Survey has a lot -- but not all! -- of the information
you're looking for. In particular, it does not report the number of
establishments in the state, nor does it provide a breakout based on
the number of employees.
Fortunately, there is a more detailed survey -- the Economic Census --
conducted every five years (the two most recent cover 2002 and 1997).
These give us some perspective on the numbers of firms, and of the the
number of large vs small firms.
Here are the relevant statistics for the clothing industry in
California, beginning with 2004 (the most recent year available):
......facilities....employees.....annual payroll......value of shipments
2004..................78,761........$1.901 billion.......$10.681 billion
2002....4,725.........93,859........$2.031 billion.......$11.560 billion
2000.................128,053........$2.394 billion.......$14.505 billion
1999.................129,826........$2.341 billion.......$13.799 billion
1998.................123,684........$2.229 billion.......$12.398 billion
1997....5,112........128,660........$2.234 billion.......$12.694 billion
1996.................163,600........$2.570 billion.......$13.888 billion
1995.................166,500........$2.655 billion.......$13.689 billion
Please note that:
--dollar values are in current dollars, that is, they are not adjusted
As you can see, the size of the industry has shrunken considerably in
the state, going from over 5,000 facilities in 1997 to about 4,700 in
2002. Shipments fell from over $14 billion in the peak year of 2000,
down to $10.68 billion in the latest year.
Your question specifically asked about firms with 8 or more people.
The Economic Census data comes very close to this breakout, providing
data on firms with 9 or fewer employees vs those with 10 or more. The
data give us a good overview of the apparel industry, and we can use
them to make some approximations.
For instance, take a look at the breakouts in this table:
2002 Economic Census
Table 4. Industry Statistics by Employment Size: 2002
From the data in the above table -- and from other sectors of the
apparel industry -- you can generally see the following:
--about half of all the firms in the industry have from 1-9 employees
--however, these smaller companies only account for about 15% of total
industry shipments, with the larger firms accounting for the remaining
Using those rules of thumb for the industry, we can take another look
at the data I provided above. For instance, the numbers for 2002 are:
ALL apparel copmanies in California:
...........facilities........value of shipments
ONLY companies with more than 9 employees:
...........facilities............value of shipments
2002.......about 2,350...........about $9.8 billion
In other words, the larger companies account for only half of the
faciities, but most of the industry shipments.
I've thrown a lot of statistics at you, and I hope I've presented them clearly.
However, if there's anything else you need, just post a Request for
Clarification to let me know, and I'm at your service.
All the best,
2002 Economic Census
1997 ECONOMIC CENSUS
1997 Economic Census:
1996 Annual Survey of Manufactures
Geographic Area Statistics
1995 Annual Survey of Manufactures
Geographic Area Statistics
Table 2. Statistics for the United States and States by Subsector
Geographic Area Statistics 2000
Clarification of Answer by
24 Apr 2006 16:57 PDT
I'm sure you are correct in saying that -- for some surveys or
business lists -- importers are lumped together with actual
However, the Census Bureau is very particular about who does or
doesn't get included in their surveys. The data I referenced are from
the Annual Survey of *Manufacturers*, and to the best of my knowledge,
do not include firms that merely import and resell clothing.
The Annual Survey of Manufacturers' definition of the Apparel sector is as follows:
315 APPAREL MANUFACTURING
Industries in the Apparel Manufacturing subsector group establishments
with two distinct manufacturing processes: 1. cut and sew (i.e.,
purchasing fabric and cutting and sewing to make a garment), and 2.
the manufacture of garments in establishments that first knit fabric
and then cut and sew the fabric into a garment.
The Apparel Manufacturing subsector includes a diverse range of
establishments manufacturing full lines of ready-to-wear apparel and
custom apparel: apparel contractors, performing cutting or sewing
operations on materials owned by others; jobbers performing
entrepreneurial functions involved in apparel manufacture; and
tailors, manufacturing custom garments for individual clients are all
included. Knitting, when done alone, is classified in the Textile
Mills subsector, but when knitting is combined with the production of
complete garments, the activity is classified in Apparel
A more general discussion of the type of manufacturing firms included
in the survey is also provided:
The Manufacturing sector (sector 31-33) comprises establishments
engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of
materials, substances, or components into new products. The assembling
of component parts of manufactured products is considered
manufacturing, except in cases where the activity is appropriately
classified in Sector 23, Construction....
Establishments in the manufacturing sector are often described as
plants, factories, or mills and characteristically use power-driven
machines and materials-handling equipment...
Given the above parameters, I beleive the data I have presented to you
accurately reflects the size of the clothing manufacturing industry in
California, at least through 2004.
The Annual Survey of Manufacturers is generally released at the end of
the year following the actual survey year, so that the 2005 survey
data will likely be released in December 2006.
For the time being, though, the 2004 data is the most recent data available.
I hope this explanation puts your mind at ease about the focus of the
information I provided. But as always, if there's anything else I can
do for you, just holler.