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Employment, wages and working conditions in Asia's garment sector: Finding new drivers of competitiveness

This paper presents regional trends and national estimates of exports, employment, wages, productivity and working time in the garment, textile and footwear industries in developing Asia and the Pacific.


This paper presents regional trends and national estimates of exports, employment, wages, productivity and working time in the garment, textile and footwear industries in developing Asia and the Pacific based on official trade statistics and national labour force survey data. It finds that the region accounts for 60 per cent (US$601 billion) of global exports of garments, textiles and footwear. The industry employs more than 40 million Asian workers. However, labour productivity and wages remain low overall, and working time is often excessive. Applying standard Mincerian wage regressions, the paper presents empirical evidence on wage premiums and gender pay gaps in the industry, and discusses policy measures that can help sustain growth through new drivers of competitiveness.


Employment, wages and working conditions in Asia's garment sector: Finding new drivers of competitiveness