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Jobseekers pin hopes on hospitality

Published:  24 March, 2021

Jobseekers are pinning their hopes on a resurgent hospitality sector, with bar jobs and waitressing among the fastest-growing searches, according to new research by major job site Indeed.

A year on from the first UK lockdown, job opportunities in the parts of the economy hardest hit by the pandemic, including hospitality, remain almost 70% down on pre-pandemic levels, the research found.

However, it also showed signs that postings were picking up in areas that the government roadmap suggests will reopen soon.

Interest in bar and waitressing jobs has grown by 98% and 60% respectively in the past two weeks, making them two of the top three fastest-rising search terms on the Indeed platform.

Simultaneously, interest in jobs which were a lifeline for jobseekers during the depths of the pandemic, such as in supermarkets, warehouses and delivery driving, are seeing interest falling fastest. Interest in delivery driver roles has fallen by 13% in the past fortnight alone, while demand for supermarket jobs is down 11%.

“Roadmaps out of lockdown and the success of the vaccine rollout are building optimism that the labour market will bounce back, as the release of lockdown unleashes pent-up demand for jobs in the hardest-hit sectors, including beauty, gyms, retail and hospitality,” said Jack Kennedy, UK economist at Indeed.

Although consumer-facing businesses were hoping sales would be “brisk immediately after lockdown restrictions ease”, employers would need to find ways to sustain this demand, he added.

“The pandemic has accelerated the trend towards flexible work, and office-based workers may return to the workplace less frequently, which will impact consumer-facing businesses in cities that rely heavily on commuter footfall,” he said. 

The Indeed research follows ONS data released yesterday that showed that more than 50% (368,000 out of 700,000) of the jobs lost in the UK since the pandemic were in hospitality.