RISE EXPECTED IN IMPORTS' SHARE OF US MARKET

The United States' loss of apparel jobs to overseas firms - 400,000 since 1973 - ``has slowed,'' says Karl Priestland, chief economist for the American Apparel Manufacturers Association. The nation still has 1 million of these workers. The previously fast-growing import share of the US market was held to about 52 percent during both 1987 and 1988 - a very recent downward statistical revision from 57 percent, Mr. Priestland says.

But it is too early to cheer, says Herman Starobin, director of research for the International Ladies' Garment Workers union. Both apparel sales and the share of imports will be up this year, he says.

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