May 6, 2016 - Washington, DC – This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 7.9 million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 5.4 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This crisis exists because employers demand "job ready" employees and prospective employees are simply not able to bridge the skills gap without appropriate education and training.
In its sixth look at the shortage of skills in America, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) partnered with the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) to highlight the concerns of the multi-billion dollar beauty and wellness industry, which include product manufacturers and distributors, independent salons and spas, major chain and franchise salons, as well as the institutions who provide them with licensed professionals.
The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggest stable employment within the beauty and wellness occupations, and the most recent projections indicate that the beauty and wellness communities are a growing component of the U.S. economy. In fact, the Bureau projects faster than average job growth for hairdressers, barbers, and cosmetologists, with a 10% increase in employment from 2014 to 2024.
“The nation currently faces a shortage of licensed professionals required to enable salons and spas to operate at their peak, and the demand for properly educated and licensed professionals is growing,” said Jim Cox, Executive Director of AACS.
In good times and bad, Americans still routinely seek out services performed by cosmetologists, barbers, estheticians, nail technicians, and massage therapists, and this has been contributing to the industry’s growing demand.
"These service-related occupations are performed by licensed professionals who cannot and will not be replaced by technology or have their jobs outsourced overseas," said Steve Gunderson, APSCU’s President and CEO. “One recent study projects a 62% turn-over annually, primarily as professionals gain experience and move on to better opportunities. With today’s cosmetology workforce of 656,000 this means over 400,000 jobs open each year! With a 10% annual growth also predicted, the nation needs an additional 6,400 new professionals each year to meet demand.”
"The current demand for licensed professionals continues to grow and so too do the opportunities for individuals seeking a rewarding career in the hair, beauty, and wellness industry." said Lynelle Lynch, President of BCL and member of the Board of Directors for both AACS and APSCU. “Programs like Beauty Changes Lives raise awareness of how careers in the hair, beauty, and wellness industry transform lives, both personally and professionally through the gift of educational schoarlships.”
“The cosmetology school industry does more than equip graduates with entry-level skills and the ability to successfully pass required state licensure examinations required for employment in graduates chosen career path," said AACS board Chair Christine Gordon. “We prepare graduates to enter a truly fascinating industry where their options and opportunities are limited only by their own individual goals and aspirations, their creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.”
About Shortage of Skills
Each month APSCU will profile America's "Shortage of Skills" (SoS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America's economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues.
About The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU)
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. APSCU's work supports thousands of campuses that educate millions of students.
About the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS)
The American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) is a membership organization of both accredited and non-accredited institutions of higher education specializing in the promotion of private postsecondary education leading to rewarding, licensed professional careers in the health, beauty, and wellness.