But over the years, cheap overseas labor lured many apparel makers to outsource to foreign competitors in far-flung places such as China and Vietnam.
The exodus has begun," said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at Cal State Channel Islands and a former director at Forever 21. "The garment industry is gradually shrinking and that trend will likely continue."
In the last decade, local apparel manufacturing has already thinned significantly. Last year, Los Angeles County was home to 2,128 garment makers, down 33% from 2005, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. During that period, employment also plunged by a third, to 40,500 workers. Wages, meanwhile, jumped 17% adjusting for inflation, to $698 per week — although that can include pay for top executives, as well as bonuses, tips and paid vacation time.
Many apparel companies say Los Angeles is a difficult place to do business. Commercial real estate is expensive and limited, the cost of raw materials continues to rise and it can be difficult to find skilled workers who can afford to live in the city. They expect things will become even more challenging after the minimum-wage hike further raises their expenses. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-garment-manufacturing-la-20160416-story.html
So, the liberals say "raise the minimum and all will be right with the world".
Tell that to the people in Los Angeles who already have and those who will lose their jobs because of the $15 minimum wage in California.