In this recent article, The Economist argues that one of the reasons behind the anaemic recent wage growth in Britain is that the recent job growth has been concentrated in lower-productivity jobs and cites the fact that the number of hairdressers in the UK is up 50% since 2010. How can that be?
The population is probably up c. 5% since 2010, which means that population growth can't explain this increase. It also seems far-fetched that people would consume 40-50% more haircuts per person per year. (As an example, that would mean that instead of getting a haircut once every 4 weeks or 13 times per year, you now get a haircut once every 2.7 weeks or 19.5 times per year.) What am I missing?
I ask this question because I do think that the growth of low-productivity jobs plays an important role behind stagnating real wages in the UK. (A continental European politician once commented on the British economy pivoting more and more towards services by saying, "you can't all make a living by opening doors for each other.")