Saturday, November 8, 2014

Nail Salon Wage Pressure

The following chart shows annual hourly earnings growth for all employees at nail salons.

Click to enlarge.

I wish there was more data to look at, but here is some perspective for the chart.

September 2006: $10.14
September 2014: $11.56

($11.56 / $10.14)^(1/8) = 1.0165

Hourly earnings growth has averaged 1.65% per year over the past 8 years. Even with the recent increases in hourly earnings, nail salon employees have not exactly made out like bandits.

On the one hand, it is refreshing to see that they are finally getting some wage growth. It is especially impressive considering how many nail salon employees have been added in recent years. There is apparently enough demand for their services, at least currently. That's good news for them and perhaps for our economy in general.

On the other hand, nail salon employees saw 10% earnings growth heading into the Great Recession. If you recall, it wasn't exactly enough to prop up holiday sales that year. As seen in the chart, it also wasn't sustainable over the longer term. This could mark yet another turning point.

Stay tuned for more in the coming months. The curious just keeps getting curiouser.

Source Data:
BLS: CES Databases

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