Hospitality job vacancies drive UK past pre-pandemic levels

15 July 2021 by
Hospitality job vacancies drive UK past pre-pandemic levels

Job vacancies in hospitality were one of the major drivers that saw the UK surpass pre-pandemic vacancy levels, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Job vacancies from April to June 2021 were 9.9% above their pre-pandemic level (January to March 2020), the first time this has been surpassed in 15 months. The rate of recovery since the start of the pandemic has varied across industries but most are now displaying vacancy numbers exceeding levels seen from January to March 2020.

Five industries displayed a record number of vacancies during this period, with accommodation and food service activities increasing the most by 73,400 on the last quarter to 102,000.

The largest increases were in human health and social work, up 13.6% (18,400), and accommodation and food service activities, up 21.1% (17,800), with the latter category also having the highest ratio of vacancies per 100 employee jobs, at 4.5.

Since reopening, businesses across the hospitality sector have reported staffing shortages, further exacerbated by Test and Trace notifications forcing workers to isolate, which has led to venues cutting hours or being unable to open at all.

Photo: Scott Colesby /

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