The Office for National Statistics has revealed that hospitality businesses suffered the most jobs losses in the last year, accounting for 43% of the national total.
In the year March 2020 to March 2021, the hospitality sector shed 355,000 employees.
Young people were disproportionately affected, with under-35s accounting for 78% of payroll employee job losses. More than half of those made unemployed during the pandemic were under 25.
Responding to the statistics, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality said: “Today’s figures convey the current fragility of hospitality but also the sector’s importance to national economic recovery. Once again, the increase in unemployment, particularly among younger age groups, underlines the importance of the Government to stick to their commitment to drop Covid restrictions from 21st June, and for continued support for the sector.
“Hospitality business’s ability to reopen will remain massively hampered until the Government can deliver on its commitment to dropping legal requirement of Covid restrictions and measures on 21st June. Even then, with so many companies facing rent debts and business rates bills, after more than a year with little trading, many companies – and thousands more jobs – will be in jeopardy unless further support is forthcoming.
“Should the 21st June date lapse, employer furlough contributions could also tip businesses over the edge. Additional support for jobs, coupled with longer-term plans for training, are vital.”