650k hospitality jobs lost in 2020

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Number crunching: data from Fourth found hospitality had seen more than half a million job losses this year
Number crunching: data from Fourth found hospitality had seen more than half a million job losses this year

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This year has seen an estimated 650,000 job losses in the hospitality sector, a new study has revealed.

Research from global software provider Fourth also revealed there has been a fall of more than a quarter (26%) in overall staff head count since November 2019.

The workforce across the industry reduced by 4% in November, compared to a drop of 7% in October while the number of hours worked across the sector was 75% lower compared to November 2019.

Sector recruitment also saw a downturn in the month when national lockdown restrictions were imposed, with a drop of 59% compared to October.

Good practices

The data, which was aggregated from analysis of more than 700 firms across the pub, bar, restaurant and quick-service restaurant sectors found a further 9,845 workers across the trade lost their jobs in November, representing 4% of the total workforce.

However, this was the smallest drop in workforce numbers since the summer (June), which Fourth stated suggested the furlough extension until March 2021 is protecting some hospitality jobs.

Fourth EMEA managing director Sebastian Sepierre said: “While these figures continue to make for bleak reading, it is encouraging to see hospitality businesses are continuing to battle on through the pandemic, with the data suggesting the sector was perhaps better prepared for the second national lockdown.

“This could be because good practices that were put in place in the spring, most notably around delivery could be rolled out again from the get-go."

Reducing redundancies

He added: “This time of year usually brings with it a mammoth recruitment drive, as operators gear up for the busy festive schedule.

“While the data indicates recruitment is continuing to drop, what is encouraging is the continuation of the furlough scheme is seemingly protecting sector jobs and significantly reducing the number of redundancies.

“As we approach the new year, the coming months are going to remain tough but there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and with effective planning, coupled with a suitable level of top-line support and appropriate compensation for restrictions that are harming operator’s ability to trade, the sector can and will bounce back.”

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