10pm curfew tips hospitality jobs into ‘freefall’

Hospitality sector vacancies have fallen sharply since the introduction of the UK’s 10pm curfew, new analysis by global job site Indeed reveals.

Indeed’s data shows that new job postings in the hospitality and tourism sector have dropped 61% since the end of August and are down 9% since the curfew came into effect on September 24.

A similar analysis exposes that hiring in the food preparation and service sector has fallen by a quarter (26%) since the end of August, with an 11% decline since the curfew.

Indeed also identifies that the two sectors have endured several reversals of fortune in 2020. The number of vacancies plunged harder and faster than those in other industries at the start of lockdown, before recovering strongly after pubs were allowed to reopen at the start of July.

Hiring accelerated during August as the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme set tills ringing in pubs and restaurants. In fact, between July’s ‘Super Saturday’, when venues were allowed to reopen, and the end of August, the number of new vacancies in hospitality and tourism jumped by 159%, while the increase in food preparation and service was 122%.

Hiring in the food and hospitality sectors since February
Hiring in the food and hospitality sectors since February

Jack Kennedy, UK economist at Indeed, said: “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.

“The industry is now braced for even more pain, with Scotland ordering the temporary closure of some pubs and banning the serving of alcohol indoors at those that can remain open.

“At their lowest point during lockdown, new job postings in these sectors were down 95% compared to their 2019 level.

“Progress has been made since then, but the gradual ratcheting up of restrictions – even though they still fall short of a second lockdown – has curtailed employers’ hiring intentions.

“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.”

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