UK labour market demand saw its sharpest fall in more than a decade last month, with the hospitality industry one of the worst sectors hit.
Consultancy KPMG's Report on Jobs found that in September overall demand for staff in the UK suffered its most severe drop in 11 years.
As part of this, the hospitality industry saw a fall in the demand for both permanent and temporary staff, and experienced a year-on-year drop of 8.7% in vacancies in the three months to August.
Mark Summerfield, head of travel, leisure and tourism at KPMG, said the industry was one of the first to suffer from the downturn.
"Permanent and temporary staff within the hotel and catering sectors are starting to be hit hard as the economic outlook worsens with consumers and businesses becoming ever more vigilant about where they are spending their money," he said.
"These sectors are historically some of the first to suffer in consumer downturns, with small and medium sized players the earliest to struggle due to reduced footfall and increased food and energy costs."
Gary King, director of hospitality recruitment specialist Collins King & Associates, told Caterersearch he has noticed a sharp decline over the past six weeks. "September and October are traditionally two of the busiest months for permanent recruitment in the hospitality sector, but the turmoil in the banking sector, combined with worsening economic conditions are definitely having an impact on the market," he said.
"The next six months are going to be very challenging indeed."
By Kerstin Kühn
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