Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Bowling Center Employment Bubble Indicator

The following chart shows the 12 month moving average of the natural log of bowling center employment (in thousands). When using natural logs, constant exponential growth (or in this case, decay) can be seen as a straight line.

Click to enlarge.

There are two types of people in the world: Those who believe that the Fed has permanently revived the bowling industry and those who don't.

Care to take a guess which camp I am in?

October 2014
Bowling Centers in the US: Market Research Report

The industry is in the process of switching lanes amid a period of long-term decline. Reduced disposable incomes during the recession further crippled bowling center operators and led many consumers to cut location-based entertainment like bowling out of their budgets. Revenue will continue to slide during the next five years, though at a slower rate as more firms diversify and bring in a wider range of customers.

But, hey! Employment is temporarily up so it's all good, right?

Oh, c'mon! This is not excessive use of sarcasm force! Stop being so judgmental!

Source Data:
BLS: CES Databases


dearieme said...

My first experience of indoor bowling was in an Edinburgh pub. A boy was hired to restore the skittles, and the players had a merry time, involving - would you believe? - lots of pies and pints.

I have just googled the pub - it would seem to have closed. There's another joy that the younger generation won't know.

Stagflationary Mark said...


The small farming community I grew up in had a bowling alley. I bowled there often.

I went back for a high school reunion quite a few years ago. That big building was no longer open for bowling. It had become a video tape rental store.

Talk about moving from the frying pan directly into the fire. I'd be shocked if that worked out well for them. Sigh.

Stagflationary Mark said...

I did a bit more research.

As of 2013, I see my hometown is now on the state's list of cities with "declining financial conditions" so I doubt very much that bowling will ever be returning there. Sigh.

Joseph Constable said...

My bowling alley in Daly City, CA was closed because of too many drive by shootings.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Serra Bowl to close its lanes April 15th

Leong said that the bowling alley has been trying to contact its landlord for months to ascertain whether it would be able to renew its lease. "He kept telling us he wasn't at liberty to tell us whether he was going to lease us the property or not. It got within seven weeks of when the lease was up and we flat out asked him if we should start telling our customers if we're closing. And he said, 'that's up to you.'"


"We feel like we've done everything we could do. Obviously it's not good enough for him.” Him being the landlord. LANDLORDS, argh.

I think I found the shooter! Sigh.