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#2 - 31 Million EU jobs are supported by exports. And these pay nicely.

31 MILLION JOBS in the EU are supported by exports to the world, an increase by a third since 1995 or in other terms, every seventh job in the EU. The European Commission's Chief Economist calculated these figures in a 2016 paper. With the rise of international value chains, these jobs often depend on the ability to import raw materials, inputs or finished goods and therefore trade. Trade related jobs are often highly skilled, add high value and contribute to productivity and innovation. They help ensuring the EU's competitive edge in the global economy. No wonder that they tend - on average - to be better paid from the low to the high skilled level. The EU textile industry, together with chemicals, machinery and transport equipment have the highest share of trade related jobs.

The clothing industry is a leader in organising global value chains. And it starts to add net employment again.

Historically the industry has been painted as an outsourcer, with jobs leaving Europe rather than being created here. This view neglects the creation of other jobs in other parts of the supply chain, including R&D, design, logistics, marketing and retail. We see growth in this sector, and increasing recognition that employment along the entire value chain is now making up for the manufacturing jobs being outsourced, and in certain EU countries, the branded clothing value chain is starting to become a positive net job creator. Manufacturing allows many developing and least developed countries to integrate into global value chains and from there, to upgrade value added and to diversify.

Europe’s branded clothing industry supports 4 million jobs or about 80 percent of the fashion market. Crucially, between 50-80% to the final value of the products sold by the industry are created within the EU economy, Copenhagen Economics showed in a 2013 report commissioned by EBCA.

This is the second of ten messages on international trade, which we will publish over the coming weeks. If you like this please rate below, if you would like to respond, please send us a message via our contact form.

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