Where are the leaders of artificial intelligence?

Companies are increasingly hiring for artificial intelligence roles in the fashion and accessories sector, but some parts of the world are proving more attractive than others.

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Artificial intelligence is an area which has seen rapid growth across a variety of industries in recent years - not least among apparel supply chain companies.

Figures show that the number of new artificial intelligence roles being advertised for these companies has increased in recent months - with firms across the industry looking to expand their capabilities.

The number of newly advertised roles stood at 117 in Q1 2021. That’s up from 69 in Q4 2020 and up from 64 in Q3 2020. 

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track the number of new job postings from key companies in various sectors over time. Using textual analysis, these job advertisements are then classified thematically.

Hiring patterns within the apparel sector as a whole are pointing towards an increase in the level of attention being shown to roles related to internet of things. There were 1,562 actively advertised-for open apparel roles within the industry in the second quarter of this year, up from 538 in the same quarter last year.

It is also apparent from an analysis of keyword mentions in financial filings that internet of things is occupying the minds of apparel companies to a lesser extent.

Internet of things was mentioned in five company reports of the biggest apparel companies in Q2 2021. This figure represents a decrease compared to the same period in 2019, when 25 industry filings mentioned internet of things.

Internet of things is decreasingly fueling innovation in the apparel sector. There were, on average, 84 apparel patents related to internet of things granted in the second quarter of 2019. That figure has fallen to 17 patents in the last quarter of 2020.

Overall, 2,142 of the subsidiaries owned by the pharmaceutical MNCs in the database were located in the same country as the parent company was headquartered. This meant that MNCs in the sector were less likely than average to have a preference for domestic subsidiaries at 24.3%, with the figure for the entire database standing at 45.7%.


GlobalData has compiled a list of top MNCs based on revenue. Any top companies that did not have a subsidiary were removed from the list. The latest company annual reports (2019 and 2020, where available) and websites were analysed for a total of 2,188 companies. For a subsidiary to be included, the parent company had to have a majority ownership/control in the subsidiary. Affiliates, associates, joint operations and joint ventures were included as long as the ownership criteria was met. Subsidiary information was captured at a country level. Country names were standardised. In total, 216,898 subsidiaries were captured.