Indeed have suggested that the rise of hipster culture has driven a surge in job opportunities over the last four years. The company says the hipster community has moved from the ‘alternative’ sidelines to become such a mainstream presence in British society that an entire ‘hipster service economy’ has sprung up to cater to its tastes, while jobs once seen as the preserve of hipsters have crossed into the corporate sphere, shedding their previously edgy image as a result.
A recent study by University College London revealed that far fewer millennials are drinking alcohol than previous generations, which has driven a surge in the country’s already-booming coffee shop culture, with both independent artisan cafés and multinational chains benefitting. As a result, the number of barista jobs available has risen to more than four times what it was four years ago. In December 2018 they accounted for 5,276 vacancies per million on Indeed, compared with 1,151 at the start of 2015.
Over the same period, job opportunities for yoga teachers and tattoo artists have also soared, as have job postings for bartenders – a demand that can be attributed in part to the microbrewery and artisan distillery boom, both largely fuelled by hipster tastemakers.
Table: annual change in average postings per million on Indeed
|Time periods||Barista||Bartender||Yoga Teacher||Tattoo Artist|
|2015 – 2016||39.99 per cent||36.51 per cent||10.29 per cent||72.85 per cent|
|2016 – 2017||52.09 per cent||51.20 per cent||28.14 per cent||27.08 per cent|
|2017 – 2018||32.07 per cent||18.93 per cent||20.20 per cent||-1.08 per cent|
|2015 – 2018||181.20 per cent||145.49 per cent||69.86 per cent||117.29 per cent|
Chart: cumulative increase in job opportunities created by ‘hipster service economy’ since 2015 ( per cent change of average postings per million)
While not solely the preserve of hipsters, tattoos have soared in popularity in recent years. In the decade to 2014, the number of parlours across the UK had almost tripled but Indeed’s data suggests that demand for tattoos has seen jobs in that sector continue to rise, more than doubling in the last four years.
It is not only employers who are taking advantage of the hipster Pound. The tightening labour market has given jobseekers the power to make the right choice for them and Indeed’s data suggests the current low unemployment levels have allowed jobseekers to pursue what they are passionate about, not just jobs that pay well. Jobseeker interest in the roles directly affected by hipsters has more than doubled in the last four years, increasing from 205 searches per million in January 2015 to 469 searches per million in December 2018.
These roles can bring financial reward, as well as job satisfaction. Tattoo artists on average can expect to make £44.10 per hour, with yoga teachers typically earning £21.98 per hour – well above the national average of £15.37 per hour. Baristas (£8.10 per hour) and bartenders (£8.53 per hour) still lag behind in the pay stakes.
“The irrepressible rise of the hipster is changing Britain’s economy is some unexpected ways,” notes Bill Richards, UK managing director of Indeed. “As the number and combined spending of hipsters rise, so too do the fortunes of the ‘hipster service economy’ catering to their needs.
“A decade ago, few would have predicted that demand for baristas would outstrip that for bartenders, as coffee has moved into the mainstream and millennial attitudes towards alcohol have changed,” he says. “More informal dress and flexible remote work from coffee shops – once the exclusive domain of hipster tastemakers – have become increasingly common in a range of industries, and it’s striking that this has also sparked a wider jobs boom.
“Both jobseekers and employers have responded in kind,” confirms Richards, “with both the supply of these jobs – and candidates’ interest in them – surging in response. Intense competition between employers is in turn forcing them to fight hard for recruits, by offering more attractive pay packets and other hipster-friendly perks.”