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U.S. economic gains mean good business for massage: report

massageroom.jpgJan. 28, 2014 — An improving macroeconomic landscape and a growing connection with the health-care sector has benefited the massage services industry over the five years to 2014, according to a report from Los Angeles-based industry research firm IBISWorld.


January 28, 2014
By Massage Therapy Canada staff

Given the discretionary characteristics of industry products, the
anticipated increase in per capita disposable income over the five-year
period has provided consumers with the means to afford additional
massages. While the share of domestic adults that have received a
massage in a given year has declined from 2009 to 2012, this is
primarily due to heightened unemployment and consumer deleveraging,
which are trends that are anticipated to improve in 2013 and 2014,
IBISWorld stated.

Industry revenue is anticipated to increase
over the five years to 2014 and this growth includes a slight rise in
revenue expected in 2014 alone.

Market share concentration within
the Massage Services industry is low, with the top four companies
(Massage Envy, Elements Therapeutic Massage Inc., Massage Heights and
Zen Massage USA) accounting for less than 13.4 per cent of total
industry revenue.

Moreover, the relationship between industry
operators and the health-care sector continues to grow, with a large
number of clients turning to massage services for medical or health
reasons.

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According to the American Massage Therapy Association,
61 per cent of domestic adults would like to see their insurance carrier
cover massage therapy. Primarily due to this demand, the number of
massage therapists that receive referrals from health-care professionals
has been steadily increasing over time. Similarly, the number of
massage therapists that receive insurance reimbursements has also been
climbing, with more than three-fourth of therapists currently accepting
this method of payment, indicating that it is a worthwhile business
practice.

According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Stephen Hoopes,
"Over the five years to 2019, industry revenue is forecast to increase
at an annualized rate." According to the latest available data from the
U.S. Department of Labor, the number of massage therapists is
anticipated to increase by 20 per cent from 2010 to 2020, a rate that
exceeds the national average largely due to improving income levels.

Moreover, "the dominance of non-employers in the industry is anticipated to continue over the five years to 2019," said Hoopes.

In
addition, despite a substantial amount of initial training, the
industry’s average wage is expected to only reach moderate levels in
2014. Consequently, as the industry’s relatively low average wage is
anticipated to persist over the five years to 2019, most therapists will
find it necessary to maintain other sources of income, the IBISWorld
report said.


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