This paper investigates the impact of international trade on manufacturing employment in developing countries, by undertaking a comparative study of four countries—Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Vietnam. It does so by employing a variety of methodological approaches: factor content; growth accounting; and econometric modelling. The main empirical finding is that international trade seems to be associated with the net creation of jobs in Bangladesh and Vietnam, with female workers being the key beneficiaries. In contrast, international trade has been associated with adverse employment outcomes in Kenya, and possibly in South Africa. This suggests that there may be crucial differences between Asia and Africa in terms of the impact of globalization on employment opportunities in manufacturing. Some alternative explanations for such differences are offered in the paper.