Study respondents also say an average of 12 per cent of their direct sales force now work full-time hours
Men now make up nearly a quarter of the direct sales force in the UK, according to new figures released by the Direct Selling Association, a 26 per cent increase in the amount of men in the industry since 2010.
Respondents also reported an average of 12 per cent of their direct sales force now work over 30 hours a week - the equivalent of full-time hours - nearly double the level reported in 2010.
“We are witnessing a significant widening in the range of people looking to earn additional income through direct selling and also a considerable rise in the number of people increasing the hours they’re working in an industry that has always traditionally been seen as part-time,” says Paul Southworth, the DSA’s director general.
“Against a backdrop of high unemployment and reports of people being forced to take part-time jobs because of the limited availability of full-time opportunities, it’s interesting to see that direct selling is bucking the trend and allowing people to take more control over their own work and earnings.”
The DSA report also found that couples working in the direct selling sector are on the increase, with members reporting that on average 12 per cent of their direct sellers are now working with their other half.
Direct selling, which is worth £2billion annually to the UK economy, is the UK’s largest provider of part-time independent earning, with over 400,000 people involved in the industry.
DSA calculations based on its annual survey data suggest both these figures have stayed constant over the past year, indicating that direct sales has bucked other retail sector trends, which have shown a decline through the recession.