[Excerpt] The Southeast (includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) employs more textile workers than all other regions in the United States combined. About 50 years ago less than half of the industry’s workforce was in the Southeast. By 1967, over 70 percent of the Nation’s textile workers were employed there, a proportion that has held steady since then.
Southeastern textile plants employed 438,300 workers, on average, in 1997 (see table). North Carolina dominated the industry with 29 percent of total U.S. textile industry employment— as much as the combined textile employment of all States outside the Southeast region.