This is part 2 of a multiple part series.
Fitness Metrics Revisited
It’s about time for an update of fitness industry trends once again. Although many of the numbers that I relied on last year are still to be released, there are enough statistics around that I thought i could get an early start. There is a lot of information out there and I don’t want to dump it all at once. It’s much better to put out chunks of numbers in a controlled way.
There is some Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data about employment in the industry to address. I also found another report that makes predictions on an annual basis. I want to use them to look at 2013 from both before and after perspective.
There are some signs of good things yet to come from The International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). They have released some end of year figures for 2013 but we still await the updated numbers for establishments and memberships. We’ll take a look at what they’ve shared here.
Extra Employment and Income
My interest in all these statistics grew out of a report by Club Solutions Magazine, that referenced data published by the BLS. This report by the BLS call for continued growth. It appears to be a valid trend assessment and very hopeful for the fitness industry, confirmed by other reports. The total employment in the fitness industry is predicted to grow by 12%-13% out to 2022 from 2012, adding more than 60,000 jobs in the United States in that ten-year period.
Looking into the same data, it gives detailed stats for both trainers as employees of fitness companies working in the industry and self employed trainers. For the coming decade, self-employed trainer positions will grow by half the rate of the employed at 6%. Self-employed athletic trainers, which the BLS puts in a separate category, are expected to marginally diminish in number, in the same timeframe.
This is in line with data which shows that self employed workers are not keeping up with employment historically over the last decade. Some of that reflects caution on the part of workers, and very sensibly so. They have become more likely to hold on to jobs more tightly, and be in business for themselves on the side.
With social media trends moving so rapidly I expect that we’ll be surprised by reversals in this trend. I recommend that you be on your guard for that. The opportunities to connect, offered by Facebook and other social sites, may enable freelancing in ways yet to be invented. But that’s another topic altogether.
The Before and After Reports
Marketresearch.com has posted their predictions updated from their previous annual posting in the Barnes Report: U.S. Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers Industry for 2014. The Barnes Report for 2013 gives the estimate for the year as 31,009 establishments with sales of $21.5 million. The results published show 32,394 establishments and sales of $22.8 million. This implies higher sales for each establishment of almost 3%.
Some interesting facts come to light. The more recent numbers are good from an owner’s perspective. The more recent numbers show more establishments have opened and sales are higher than previously expected. However employment in the business has actually grown less rapidly than expected. This translates to a slightly higher level of earnings per employee.
IHRSA Q4 Survey Results and Metrics Yet To Come
In a recent press release the IHRSA has announced some of the figures for the industry for last year and the percentages are looking positive. Both membership revenue and non-dues revenue have shown a steady increase. This is the IHRSA Index for the industry based on a survey sample of leading clubs. You can follow the link here, to get the full breakdown.
In all, it looks like the market is growing and continuing the upward trend. To say that the growth is accelerating may be a stretch. When you talk of one or two percent per year you’re flirting with the range of sampling errors, at least in the short-term. The survey methodology might also have an impact that imparts a slight bias. However, there is an upward trend that seems to continue and that gives hope that the business will remain strong. So some interesting information here but hopefully, as the statistics keep coming out, they will continue to bring good news. Stay tuned to this information station.
-Fitness & Recreational Sports Centers Industry. (2014). United States Fitness & Recreational Sports Centers Industry Capital & Expenses Report, 1-216.
-Fitness & Recreational Sports Centers Industry (NAICS 71394). (2013). United States Fitness & Recreational Sports Centers Industry Capital & Expenses Report, 1-216.