LOS ANGELES – Most nail salon workers and owners were unable to find alternative employment during pandemic-related salon closures and continue to face financial difficulties even after reopening, according to a UCLA-led study released Thursday, November 18. was falling
The report found that only 14% of owners are confident they can cover business expenses, including rent and payroll, in the next month, and 83% of workers reported a loss in earnings.
Lucero Herrera, a senior research analyst at UCLA Labor Center, said, “Most nail salons are small mom-and-pop businesses owned and staffed by immigrants and refugees, who are concerned about paying for food and basic necessities, even Even after reopening.” She said that 88% of owners said they don’t have enough customers to cover business expenses, which include rehiring workers, and that “most workers are now taking home less than $400 per week. “
The study, conducted by the UCLA Labor Center and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, examined the reopening of nail salons in California, a major hub for the billion-dollar industry. Nail salons have been particularly spurred by COVID-19, but there have been very few studies on the impact of the pandemic.
“Reopening During COVID-19: The Experience of Nail Salon Workers and Owners in California” explores how nail salons are navigating the process of reopening and recovering amid extended financial and emotional stress.
The researchers note that nearly half of nail salon workers and most owners report feeling moderate to extremely anxious since reopening. Most workers say health and safety are their main concerns, while owners are primarily concerned about having enough customers.
Lisa Fu, executive director of the Nail Salon Association, said, “When nail salons first reopened, most workers felt that their employers were accountable in providing COVID-19 protection such as masks, face shields and gloves.” “However, tensions are brewing from anti-Asian racism during the pandemic, and the fact that most workers can’t take time off.”
Fu said 62% of workers reported that they are not paid paid sick leave or family leave, while workers also expressed concern over prioritizing income over their own health and safety when customers do not wear masks. Huh.