Labour shortages hold back Colombian footwear

Published:  06 January, 2023
Credit: Victoria Chudinova/

Despite a good result in 2022, labour shortages are expected to hold back the footwear industry in 2023, according to the Colombian Association of Footwear, Leather and Leather Goods (ACICAM).

ACICAM reports that footwear manufacturers in Colombia ended 2022 with a production volume of 50 million pairs of shoes, growing by 20.4% year-on-year between January and October. Exports were also up in the first 10 months of the year by 40.3% to reach US$34.1 million.

William Parrado, Director of Economic Research at ACICAM, said that cost increases and inflation are expected to slow down production. He added: “On top of this, there is a labour problem, as qualified personnel are not readily available.”

The Colombian footwear industry currently employs around 83,000 people, a figure which totals 125,000 when including leather and leather goods, but the shortage is estimated at around 30,000.

Source: World Footwear