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Sewers and Tailors Job Outlook

Employment of sewers and tailors is expected to experience little or no change, growing 1 percent from 2010 to 2020. Growth will be limited as clothing continues to be made in other countries and the demand for custom clothing keeps declining.

Employment of hand sewers is expected to decline moderately by 5 percent as the production of clothing continues to move abroad. Fierce competition in the market for clothing should keep domestic clothing and textile firms under intense pressure to cut costs and produce more with fewer workers.

Although the industry is already highly automated, business is expected to continue increasing worker productivity by using laborsaving machinery. As a result, there will be decreased demand for sewers who specialize in working by hand.

Employment of tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers is expected to experience little or no change, growing 2 percent from 2010 to 2020. Many of these workers are self-employed or work in clothing stores.

Although custom home furnishings and clothing face strong competition from the cheaper off-the-rack products, there will always be some demand from upscale stores and certain clients. Made-to-order apparel and other handmade goods appeal to people looking for one-of-a-kind items, and tailors will continue to be needed to alter ready-to-wear clothing for a better fit.

Job Prospects

Job prospects should be best for highly skilled workers who have experience.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition