More than 50 pubs are now closing every week in Britain, equating to more than seven a day, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has warned.
Some 2,377 pubs have closed in the last 12 months leading to a loss of 24,000 jobs, according to the figures compiled by marketing company CGA Strategy.
BBPA chief executive David Long said that the recession has been made much worse for British pubs by the Government's tax and regulatory burdens.
"The last two Budgets have seen a 20% increase in beer tax, which alone has added more than £600m to our tax bill," he said.
"The Government continues to press ahead with the Mandatory Code of Practice, which it says heaps at least £30m of extra red tape cost on pubs in the first year alone."
There are now 53,466 pubs in Britain, down from 58,600 in the year before the Licensing Act came into force. Pub closures over the last year have cost the Government more than £254m in lost taxes.
Long added that the Government should instead be valuing and rewarding pubs as community assets.
"Not only would this have social policy benefits by supporting a hub of community cohesion, but financial policy benefits in terms of tax revenues, particularly at a time when the public purse is stretched," he said.
The big pub groups meanwhile appear to be weathering the tough trading conditions.
According to the monthly Coffer Peach Business Tracker, run by the Peach Factory consultancy, aggregated figures from 13 major pub groups showed like-for-like sales in June were 0.4% ahead on the same month last year.
Peter Martin, founder of the Peach Factory, said: "It confirms the sense that chains are outperforming the independent sector. There was also a +3.9% increase in total sales in June across the sample, pointing to a continuing gain in market share for established groups."
By Emma White
E-mail your comments to Emma White here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next pubs job here with Caterersearch.com jobs