SEX trade workers are suffering a business downturn because customers have less cash to blow on extracurricular activities. Brothels and adult-industry retailers are feeling the effects of the global financial crisis. But Port Macquarie brothel Janelle’s spokeswoman said she expected things to “pick up by the end of the year”. “To spend money [at a brothel] used to be a necessity, but now it is not even a luxury,” she said. “It has gone above and beyond a luxury.” The spokeswoman said her clientele comprised travel representatives, labourers, pensioners, the disabled, unemployed and professional white-collar workers. “Everyone is feeling the pinch, apart from the pensioners,” she said. Between two and five girls work at any one time at Janelle’s, where a 30-minute session costs $130. “We have discussed why it’s quiet and the girls have cut a shift or two themselves by choice,” the spokeswoman said. “The girls are hanging in there and usually have other jobs to fall back on.” The spokeswoman said she had cut overheads, such as advertising, and was relying more on word of mouth. Business information provider IBISWorld’s senior analyst, Ed Butler, said he wasn’t surprised pensioners were not affected by the financial crunch. They didn’t face the threat of job losses and had a stable income, he said. Mr Butler said there were about 7000 sex workers in NSW and this would increase by at least 600 in the next financial year as more women took it up as “a last resort”. “With a recession, you get more workers and fewer clients,” Mr Butler said. “This creates poorer conditions and more of a black market. “People will go to the cheaper alternative.” Brothels made $370 million in NSW this financial year, about 30 to 35 per cent of national revenue. This figure is expected to fall five per cent during the next financial year.