90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, April 5, 2012

What Do Beauty Salons Tell Us About The Economy?


Businesses like restaurants and beauty salons may be the future of American jobs, according to Dan Gross, economics editor for Yahoo! News.

He says restaurants, landscaping companies and salons are immune to mechanization, automation and offshoring.

“They have not figured out machines to give people manicures, so when you get a lot more business you have to hire people,” he said.

“They have not figured out machines to give people manicures, so when you get a lot more business you have to hire people.”
– Dan Gross, of Yahoo! News

Gross says these industries will fuel coming job growth.

“When people are wondering, when are all the jobs going to come back, where are they going to come from, it’s in these services where the business owners aren’t that great at figuring out productivity solutions and where they can’t offshore the job to China or Mexico.”

But don’t quit your day job to work at a salon just yet. The type of jobs staying in the U.S. are not just at restaurants and salons.

“It’s also the plumber, the mortgage broker, the lawyer… the movers, the people at Home Depot. All of things are by definition, really intensely local jobs,” he said.

Gross says that spending on services is the first to fall when the economy is doing poorly, it’s also the first to rise when people are feeling more optimistic.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Dee

    Great points made by Don Gross on growth on the economy! !!! Repeatedly , I find those in the media are missing the real scoop on what’s going on with the economy based on the monthly employment figures. While I admit these figures are important they don’t begin to give the real pulse on where the economy is going. Thus it seem to me Dan Gross of Yahoo has hit the nail

    on the head when he reminds us to look at what’s going on in our neighborhoods with home 
    renovations and of all places the beauty salon! I might even add the highways and byways of 
    our communities and states. Those are areas I feel tell part another of the story and hey are al-ways missing it seems in peoples’ analysis.. Plus, what’s happening in vestments and retire-
    ment accounts.  I think all this does a great disservice to the President and the Treasury and 
    what the Feds are promoting out in communities and cities in America…..Joan

    P.S. I have spent the last couple of years upgrading my home appliances and heating systems 
    Bring them into with 21st century efficiency. And I am continuing to do this with automobiles 
    and other forms of technology… Thus, increasing the need for supplies and services as Dan 
    Gross mentioned in his conversation with Robin Young. 

    In addition, when I frequent Retail stores and beauty salons there never seems to be any great lapses in businesses. Retailers continue to draw customers in ( This is the tragedy today behind the cut backs at  JC Penny. There should be no need to lay off workers today.  I blame  JC Penny’s  management  for this and their lack of ideas…And Yahoo’s management for not promoting their  as AOL did with joining ranks with The Huffington Post on News and Events….Maybe they 
    should tune in with CNN or some other news service….) 

    P.P.S. I am looking forward to Dan Groass’s new book . It sounds like he is a very keen 
    observer and a voice that is so much needed in the media. Many Thanks to Robin for in-
    viting him on the show….His observations are essentially validating my efforts and I 
    know many others to counter The Republican (and Corporate ) assault on the American economy….(The the Good News they are losing and The Obama administration and The 
    Feds and The Treasury are the winners!) 

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 21 21 Comments

The Challenges Of Recruiting An All-Volunteer Army

The Army is meeting its targets, but the man who runs recruiting says finding qualified candidates in the 17 to 24 age group can be difficult.

August 21 Comment

Syrian Clarinetist Finds A Home For His Music

"Does the clarinet stop a bullet or does it feed a child or does it rebuild a destroyed home?" Kinan Azmeh asks. "Of course it doesn't. But... it can inspire."

August 20 Comment

James Foley Remembered For His ‘Extraordinary Courage’

U.S. officials have confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the beheading of the American journalist.

August 20 7 Comments

L.A. Moves To Arrest Fewer Misbehaving Students

The change in the school district's policy is the culmination of a long fight by judges, government officials, advocates and attorneys.