4 December 2017

The NHBF has released an update to its popular industry statistics giving an overview of the latest official figures on the hair and beauty industries.

Hair & beauty industry statistics 

The number of businesses in the sector have increased by 2% in 2017 compared to 2016.  There has also been a big increase in the number of people who work in the sector, especially in beauty, where the number of workers increased by over 30,000 from 84,000 in 2015 to 115,000 in 2016, reflecting the continuing popularity of beauty as a start-up business.

The latest retail figures show that barbershops, beauty salons, nail bars and hair and beauty salons occupied 4 of the top 10 spots for the most popular start-ups in 2016.  While the growth in our sector is providing work opportunities for more people, increasing competition means business are having to fight harder to get and keep clients and to recruit team members and apprentices. 

Self-employment statistics 

Continuing the growing trend towards self-employment, 2017 saw a big upsurge in the number of people who are classified as self-employed.  This was especially noticeable in hairdressing and barbering where the proportion of self-employed was up from 48% in 2016 to 57% in 2017.  The percentage of those who are self-employed in beauty has dropped back a little from 57% to 54%, but in both industries, more than half of all workers are now self-employed.  

The Review of Modern Working Practices 

Hilary Hall, NHBF Chief Executive said, "The government is due to respond before the end of the year on the Review of Modern Working Practices which looked into self-employment and the 'gig' economy.  We expect to see clearer definitions of what exactly self-employment means and measures to ensure that workers are not exploited by employers who are simply looking to cut costs and who can therefore undercut competitors who work on a more traditional employment models."