Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia

Employment, wages and productivity in the Asian garment sector: Taking stock of recent trends

The report takes stock of employment, wages and productivity in the Asian garment sector by exploring data and policy insights to highlight trends, patterns and ways forward for a better future of work. By utilising updated data insights, the report outlines persisting decent work deficits as the garment sector evolves, and the prioritised support needed to overcome such challenges.

Asia is the largest garment manufacturer in the world. While labour productivity in the sector has increased in many economies, it remains relatively low, as few countries have successfully moved up the value-added chain. Despite increase in real wages for most workers, their working conditions have remained poor and characterised by widespread informality and vulnerability.

The ‘Employment, wages and productivity trends in the Asian garment sector: data and policy insights for the future of work’ highlights the role of global supply chains in contributing towards poor working conditions. The report analyses recent data and patterns in the sector to contextualise the discussion around wages and labour productivity. The analysis covers structural and institutional factors, including industrial relations, and highlights continued challenges for sub-groups of workers, including informal and temporary workers, home-based workers and women who constitute large shares of the garment and textiles industry.

This report was produced under the International Labour Organization Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains project, supported by the Government of Sweden.