Hair and beauty industries to add almost 50,000 jobs to UK economy this year

The beauty and hair industry is set to give the UK job market a major boost this year creating almost 50,000 jobs, according to the sixth annual Beautiful Britain report from Sally Salon Services.

Nearly all beauty and hair salon owners (99%) surveyed plan to increase or maintain headcount over the next 12 months, equating to 16,738 new roles, and optimism is at its highest in the West Midlands, where more than half of salons (52%) expect to increase headcount – resulting in a net number of 2,480 jobs. Other regions reporting exponential growth in hiring opportunities include London (36%), North East (36%), North West (33%) and South East (29%).

More than half (58%) of business owners also plan to hire at least one apprentice, resulting in an extra 31,188 positions, the report found. The North West is set to take on the most apprentices with more than 76% expecting to hire one or more, followed by Wales (74%), West Midlands (66%), North East (59%) and the South East (56%).

Warren Scarr, managing director and group vice president of Sally Salon Services UK and Ireland, said:“I’m proud to be a part of an industry that is set to contribute so positively to the country’s economy and which, through hard work and dedication, has created a future to be optimistic about. 

“Professionals in our sector are not only passionate about giving customers the best possible experience, they are committed to nurturing the next generation of talent through rewarding apprenticeship opportunities,” he added.

Positive past
The survey also revealed that 2016 was a strong year for UK beauty and hair businesses, with 86% of professionals reporting an increase in customer numbers and turnover, resulting in more hiring opportunities for therapists.   

Last year, the average number of full-time employees grew to three, an increase of one therapist, while 94% maintained or increased their part-time employee numbers, rising on average from one to two.

Two thirds (64%) said they feel more optimistic about the business landscape now than a year ago, and despite gloomy Brexit headlines, more than 90% say they are yet to feel any impact of the vote on their business.

Male-grooming boom
Last year, treatment prices increased across the board, which, coupled with an increase in customer loyalty, pushed the average annual spend per client up. Many took advantage of the male-grooming boom, with 63% of salons reporting an increase in this client group – an 8% year-on-year rise – and men now accounting for 23% of customers.

It’s no surprise that the price of male treatments shot up too, with the average cost of a facial at £33 and manicure at £21 – the highest both have been since the report started in 2012. The average annual amount men spent was up £68 (9%) year on year, to £779.

“Demand for hair and beauty treatments among men has increasingly grown above industry trends since the first Beautiful Britain report in 2012, and we’ve seen male grooming transition from a focus on functional upkeep to embracing trend-led indulgence,” commented Scarr.

Treatment surges
For women, the time left between tan top-ups, facials, manicures and hair removal was shorter than in the previous year, while pedicures proved the most popular, with appointments booked on average once every five weeks – highlighting the potential for those who are looking to expand in these areas.

Tanning was most frequent in the West Midlands, with regulars going every 3.8 weeks, while those in Yorkshire and West Humber were the most-frequent bookers of manicures, at once every three weeks.

Sally Salon Services surveyed 2,500 beauty and hair professionals nationwide. You can read the full report here.