Sunday, January 29, 2017

Op-Ed Leaving for Las Vegas: California's minimum wage law leaves businesses no choice

Another is out of there!
After two years in business, my company now has more than 150 clients from all over the world and 18 employees. It’s what’s known as a cut-and-sew house, part of the garment industry that generates about $17 billion in annual economic activity in Los Angeles County, including $6.9 billion in payroll, according to a 2016 industry report by the California Fashion Assn. This is the epicenter of apparel design and manufacturing in the United States; domestically manufactured clothing is more expensive, but retail and wholesale customers who care about quality and working conditions have historically been willing to pay for it.

Unfortunately, the industry is on a downward trend. Los Angeles County used to have more than 5,000 apparel factories; today, my company is one of roughly 2,000 — and many (e.g. American Apparel) are looking for a way out. One Los Angeles Times headline, quoting a California State University economist, warned that “the exodus has begun."

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