The hospitality workforce has shrunk by more than a quarter, with job losses totaling 660,000 over the course of the year, new data has revealed.
New figures from Fourth has highlighted that in December 2020, there was a 28% drop in overall staff headcount compared to the same period the previous year, with the most impacted sector, again, being hotels, where there was a 33% reduction in labour compared to last year.
However, December saw the fewest job leavers since May, indicating that the continuation of the furlough scheme is helping to protect and preserve a portion of jobs in the marketplace.
In December, the workforce shrunk by 3.5%, compared to 4% in November.
The number of hours worked across the sector was 63% lower compared to December 2019.
Sector recruitment continues to stagnate, dropping by 43% compared to August-October 2020 levels.
Fourth’s data, which has been aggregated from analysis of over 700 companies across the restaurant, pub, bar and QSR sectors, reveals that there were a further 8,591 workers who lost their jobs over the course of December, bringing the total number of sector job losses to roughly 660,000 for the year.
Commenting on the latest figures, Sebastien Sepierre, Managing Director – EMEA, Fourth, said: “The fact that the number of sector job leavers remained low into December, compared to the spring and summer, is encouraging, as it proves the continued positive impact of the government re-committing to the furlough scheme. It is critical that this kind of top-level financial support remains in place for the sector, including an extension to the business rates and VAT cuts.
“We anticipate a tough period ahead but, with the vaccine rollout gathering momentum, the end could soon be in sight. It’s important that hospitality businesses are ready for the lifting of restrictions, whenever that may be, and we look forward to supporting our customers and partners back onto their feet.”