The proportion of apparel supply chain companies hiring for machine learning related positions dropped significantly in August compared with the equivalent month last year, with 31.2% of the companies included in our analysis recruiting for at least one such position.

This latest figure was lower than the 41.2% of companies who were hiring for machine learning related jobs a year ago and a decrease compared to the figure of 37.5% in July.

When it came to the rate of all job openings that were linked to machine learning, related job postings dropped in August from July, with 0.2% of newly posted job advertisements being linked to the topic.

This latest figure was a decrease compared to the 0.3% of newly advertised jobs that were linked to machine learning in the equivalent month a year ago.

Machine learning is one of the topics that GlobalData, from where data for this article is taken, has identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years. Companies that excel and invest in these areas now are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

Our analysis of the data shows that apparel supply chain companies are currently hiring for machine learning jobs at a rate lower than the average for all companies within GlobalData's job analytics database. The average among all companies stood at 1% in August.

GlobalData's job analytics database tracks the daily hiring patterns of thousands of companies across the world, drawing in jobs as they're posted and tagging them with additional layers of data on everything from the seniority of each position to whether a job is linked to wider industry trends.

Europe was the fastest growing region for machine learning hiring among apparel industry companies in the three months ending May.