Why India's Garment Factory Boom Produces Jobs with Little Security
India has sewn its way toward a more reliable income for nearly 35 million garment industry workers in recent years. Agricultural laborers left the fields to work in factories that sprouted as the economy gained steam. But as demand for exports has dropped amid the global financial crisis, hundreds of thousands of Indian garment workers have found that their new line of work is on shaky ground. An industry council has said that thousands of the factories have shut down, taking 500,000 jobs with them. The number could reach one million, the council says. According to a new article in India Knowledge at Wharton, the sudden job losses highlight an industry where workers have few rights and where the support systems that help laborers in developed markets are lacking.