The Robots Are Coming for Garment Workers. That’s Good for the U.S., Bad for Poor Countries


  1. Mohammadi Group Managing Director Rubana Huq says her company’s garment factories have replaced about 500 workers with machines and may replace more as part of a growing industry trend toward automation, The Wall Street Journal reports.
  2. In 2016, the International Labour Organisation predicted some Asian countries could lose more than 80 percent of jobs in the garment sector due to automation.
  3. The situation may particularly affect Bangladesh, which analysts say needs to create two million jobs a year to keep up with its expanding labour cost, the Journal said.
  4. Bangladesh garment producers are facing the twin pressures of media attention on factory conditions, exacerbated by the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, and consumers resistant to the price increases that could help pay for improvements.
  5. As automation increases it could also shift jobs back to industrialised countries, as producers seek labour forces with more skill training.
  6. The difficulty of working with fabric and the plentiful labour supply in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia and China would suggest the apparel industry had less need to automate than others.
  7. The garment industry currently provides three million manufacturing jobs in Bangladesh and accounts for 81 percent of the country’s exports.

Source: Link 1; Link 2

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