How The Pandemic Spurred Wage Increases Across The Nation For Beauty Supply Stores

Zoe NolzAug. 23, 2022 2:22 pm EST1,636

Working in a store that sells makeup and skincare products is a fun career option for beauty enthusiasts, as you'll spend your days surrounded by cosmetics and helping people find products that will make them feel more confident. But as rewarding as working in a beauty supply store can be, most retail jobs aren't known for paying ultra-high wages. For instance, according to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly earning for people working in cosmetic stores was $17.90 in January 2018.

Then, in January 2019, the average wage was still below $20 per hour at $19.50 per hour, and in January 2020 — two months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit — the average hourly earning was around the same at $19.52. Thus, although the pre-pandemic wage average reached a high of $20.96 in March 2019, workers in the industry rarely made more than $20 per hour before the pandemic struck. However, believe it or not, those average hourly wages have noticeably risen over the last couple of years.

Workers get more money for risking their safety

In May 2020, the average hourly wages for people working in cosmetic stores increased to $24.90, around f more than people in the industry typically made before the pandemic. Fast forward to June 2022, and the average hourly wage is still around $23, sitting at $22.91. So, why has the pandemic caused such a significant increase in hourly earnings?

As we all know, working around others during the COVID-19 pandemic is dangerous, especially before vaccines were available. Thus, working in a beauty store puts people at risk, as they're surrounded by coworkers as well as customers they don't know. Furthermore, they have to touch plenty of products and money, the latter of which is notoriously germ-ridden. Since going to work is a potential health risk for people who work in cosmetics stores, many people may not have wanted those jobs during the earlier days of the pandemic, so those higher wages provided an incentive for people to apply to work these jobs.

Nowadays, many people have been vaccinated to protect themselves and others against the virus, so working in retail isn't as risky as a couple of years ago. However, the pandemic isn't over yet, so there's still a risk of contracting the virus when stepping into — and working in — any store. Plus, the monkeypox outbreak adds heightened stress, so those higher hourly earnings make even more sense (via the CDC), nonetheless as a result of the rise in inflation we've been experiencing in recent months.