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Hospitality recruitment in “freefall” as EOTHO gains reversed

Published:  09 October, 2020

The 10pm curfew on hospitality venues and ‘rule of six’ restrictions on gatherings have had a major impact on recruitment in the sector, according to new data released by global recruitment site Indeed.

The figures revealed that job postings in hospitality and tourism have fallen by 61% from an end of August peak, following the Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) which gave the trade a much needed boost, with a further 9% fall since curfew was imposed on 24 September.

Concurrently, hiring in the food preparation and service sector had fallen by 26% since the end of August, with a further 11% decline since curfew began.

After an initial 95% drop in jobs posted during the first full national UK lockdown, the number of new vacancies in hospitality and tourism jumped by 159% between ‘Super-Saturday’ reopening and the end of August, with food preparation and service positions up 122% during the same period.

With a broad swathe of the Scottish on-trade to shut down today (Friday 9 October) and additional lockdown restrictions widely expected across northern England next week, the situation is “set to inflict further pain on jobseekers”, said Indeed.

The analysis highlighted that these falls contrast with an increase in the number of vacancies in other sectors, which “continue to inch closer to pre-lockdown levels".

The recruitment figures underscored data from the most recent Coffer Peach Business Tracker survey, which revealed that the introduction of new government restrictions to tackle the Covid-19 crisis has wreaked havoc on the UK’s hospitality industry’s shaky recovery.

Like-for-like sales for the last week of September were down 22.8% on 2019, with drink-led pubs down 28.6%, as the impact of local lockdowns, the 10pm curfew, the ‘rule of six’, and other service limitations have hit the sector.

“This summer’s encouraging signs of recovery in the food, drink and hospitality sectors slipped into reverse after the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme finished at the end of August. Since the imposition of a nationwide 10pm curfew a fortnight ago, the number of new vacancies has tipped into freefall,” said Jack Kennedy, UK Economist at Indeed.

“Hiring levels continue to improve across the wider economy, but for Britain’s hardest-hit sectors it feels like a case of one step forward and two steps back.”