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RESEARCH: NORTH AMERICA PAY ATTENTION


The US spa sector spends US$7bn on wages, salaries and benefits according to the latest research from the International Spa Association. PwC’s Colin McIlheney examines the findings


F


or the first time, the 2013 US Spa Industry Study contained a detailed section on spa employee salaries and payments.


An important addition given that the sector is highly labour intensive due to the nature of the services provided. The research by the International Spa


Association (ISPA) showed that 343,600 people are employed in 19,960 spas in the US, representing a 1.2 per cent increase from May 2012 to May 2013. Overall, the industry generated US$14bn (€10.2bn, £8.4bn) in revenue in 2012, which equates to approximately US$7bn (€5.1bn, £4.2bn) paid in wages, salaries and benefits. This is a key indication of the size of the nation’s spa sector and underlines its economic impact to local people and communities.


Table 1: US Spa Industry Workforce*


Total employees Full-time Part-time Contract


2012 (May) 2013 (May) % change 339,400 163,100 128,500 47,800


343,600 151,300 145,400 46,900


+1.2% -7.2%


+13.2% -1.9%


*Source: ISPA 2013 US Spa Industry Study. Calculations of percentage change are based on unrounded figures Indeed, the large-scale survey, which


was based on approximately 14,000 spa operators, shows that the US spa industry has had its strongest year since 2007. It clearly demonstrated that five key statistics – spa visits, spending per visit, revenues, the number of spa locations and staffing levels – have all grown over the course of the year. The survey was based on detailed data


from 2012 and examined criteria such as financial performance, employment and growth as well as the regional distribution of spas, ownership structures, number of visits, product and service offerings and other areas of interest. In addition, spas were also asked to give an account of the six months from September 2012 to March 2013, across four key business indicators.


The findings are a continuation of the


positive news from ISPA’s 2012 report (see the 2013 Spa Business Handbook, p106), in parallel with the upturn of the national economy in the US. There is positive sentiment regarding future trends.


Workforce and wages The fact that the spa industry is very labour intensive is reflected in the portion of total revenues attributed to staffing costs, which averages 49 per cent across the spas surveyed. Although the overall number of people working in the sector increased, a main talking point was the marked shift from full-time employment (-7.2 per cent) to part-time employment (+13.2 per cent) as shown in Table 1. This could be an indication of wider changes


Table 2: US Spa Industry Key Statistics* 2011 (year end)


Revenue Spa visits Locations


2012 (year end) % change


US$13.4 billion US$14 billion +4.7% 156 million 19,850


Revenue per visit US$86


160 million 19,960 US$87


+2.8% +0.5% +1.8%


*Source: ISPA 2013 US Spa Industry Study. Calculations of percentage change are based on unrounded figures


116


spa business handbook 2014


www.spahandbook.com


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